Immediately after the events of last session, our adventurers, Arlen, Cartumel, Floge, Jafar, and Tavon begin searching for lodging for the semester. Cartumel informs them that her landlord, Sunden, has additional rooms for let above/behind his shop, Sunden’s Sundries. On the way to the shop, Florge reveals the note that he stole as part of his initiation. Though it’s addressed to the headmaster’s office at the Royal Academy of Magic in Samarland (the capital of the Torstellian Empire where FACC is located), the note inside is in Elvish. Arlen snatches the note and reads, “Have arrived. Looking for the item. Will notify. (signed) V.” At Sunden’s Sundries, the adventurer’s meet the dwarf Sunden and hear his offer, 25g per semester for lodging. However, they are immediately kicked out if they interfere with or steal from his shop. The adventurer’s accept: Florge rooms in the broom closet, Arlen and Tavon room together, and Jafar rooms with Cartumel. Recovering from the stress of the initiation, they rest for the night.
The next day, they start searching for supplies. Florge buys his most essential gear, an empty used ale barrel from the proprietor of the Dancing Destrier. Many of the others claim brokeness and buy nothing. With shopping quickly finished, Florge heads to the lake to find out more about the water temple. He waylays a fisherman, Durvon, to find out more. Durvon, amused at the naivety of the new students, offers to take then our on the lake (for a few coin of course).
On the lake, Jafar summons his familiar in the form of an octopus to investigate the lake bed. On the bottom, he sees various ruins, stone statues, and a cobblestone path leading toward the island in the middle of the lake. Arriving at the island, Florge and Jafar ride in the barrel to the shore, while Cartumel, Tavon, and Arlen swim. While investigating the island, the adventurers are surprised by a human woman running across the surface of the lake and calling out. She introduces herself as Phyla Deft, a graduate student doing research into the previous denizens of the lake temple. She offers to share her research if the adventurers promise not to interfere. Leading them into the island, which is revealed to be the top an old tower, she tells them
Before FACC was a college, it was a temple of knowledge, founded on the site of what Phyla believes is the northenmost documented outpost of the yuanti snake people. During the the Age of Magic (?2nd or 3rd Age?), the Yuanti founded numerous outposts and used dark magic and sacrificial rituals to lengthen their own loves and control the surrounding populace. Most of their outposts were in the jungles to the south and west of the continent. The yuanti empire ended suddenly and was replaced by the Nestorian Empire.
At the bottom of the tower, there is an altar in front of a broken snake statue. Channels crusted with dried blood lead further down. Jafar sends his octopus familiar through the drain into the flooded chamber below. In that chamber, there is a brass snake statue in surprisingly good condition and a teleportation circle. (Phyla mentions that she hadn’t discovered an intact statue like the brass one). While this is happening, Florge, impatient for action and over everyone’s protests, cuts his palm and pours blood in to the channels. The blood is sucked down the drain and into the brass statue’s mouth. Three snakes pour out of the statue’s mouth and begin swimming toward the surface. Back in the sacrifice chamber, the altar opens up. Arlen and Tavon take their positions up near the altar, while Florge and Jafar are further back, and Cartumel is halfway up the stairs leading out of the chamber. The first snake to emerge from the altar quickly wraps around Arlen and begins squeezing. Cartumel uses speak with animals to talk to the serpent. It exclaims, “We serve the night serpent. We will consume all!”. As the other serpents emerge from the altar, Arlen is able to summon eldritch tentacles, crushing the smaller snakes and injuring the nearby Tavon. Unfortunately Arlen is unable to escape the larger snake’s coils and falls unconscious. The remaining adventurers attack the great serpent, Tavon killing it with a blow from his glaive.
As Jafar heals Arlen, everyone else searches the room. Inside the altar, they find a ceremonial dagger and a carved onyx snake statue. Though loathe to surrender any artifacts, Phyla agrees to let the party keep a single item, if they help her research it. Heading to the historical library of the Bard’s College (there are also arcane and religious libraries as part of their respective schools), Jafar believes the statue is magical and Arlen finds a book about it. The statue transforms into the snake at the user’s command. Florge keeps the statue, letting Phyla keep the dagger.
While resting for the night, Florge hears a noise. Making his way outside, he sees a small figure breaking the shop window and stealing gear. He attempts to follow the figure but looses it in the night. The next day a very cross Sunden accosts the new tenants. Though skeptical of their claim that they had nothing to do with the break-in, Sunden delivers an ultimatum. They have until the end of the week to find the thief or else they’re kicked out.