Serpent's Skull

Serpent's Skull is a Pathfinder ® Adventure Path; converted for use in the Corwyn Game-Setting

Serpent's Skull; the Story

Serpent's Skull; Player Handouts

List of PCs:

  • Brian
  • Chuck
  • Erika
  • Lene

List of NPCs:

  • Alizandru Captain of the Jenivere
  • Alton, 1st mate of the Jenivere
  • Demetrio; passenger on Jenivere (Kendarum Agent)
  • Eledeer
  • Ezra
  • Iraska
  • Jask Derindi; passenger on Jenivere (Seeker Agent)
  • Nyalathi
  • Rhys Mavato; passenger on Jenivere (Ironwolf Consortium Agent)
  • Sh’athik
  • S’Ratha
  • Sozrin
  • Urschlar
  • Volkavi
  • Yara; passenger on Jenivere (the serpent-folk priestess & main antagonist)
  • Zatara; pirate who rescues party

List of Corwyn Locations:



The landscape was grim and featureless, like it was still being formed. The huge dark jungle came right up to the beach and stretched as far as the eye could see. The sun was fierce and the land looked like it was sweating. Every once in a while, a grayish-white speck with a little flag over it became visible. These were settlements from centuries past. They looked like mere dots in the enormous jungle.

PART-2: Racing to ruin
The PCs finally arrive in Eleder, and word of their discovery
is already spreading. Several competing factions—the
Free Captains, the Red Mantis, the Pathfinders, the
Aspis Consortium, and the Sargavan government all seek
Saventh-Yhi as well, and the PCs must decide which of
these are enemies and which might be allies. The PCs then
hire a strange guide and make the journey through Sargava
and into the Mwangi Expanse, racing the competition to
be the first to arrive at a ruin in the Screaming Jungle that
holds the final key to Saventh-Yhi’s location.

PART-3: the city of seven spears
At last, the legendary city of Saventh-Yhi! The PCs must
begin the monumental task of exploring a city that has
been hidden from outside eyes since the advent of the Age
of Darkness. Deadly monsters and harrowing traps await
them, and the continuing competition with other factions
heightens the dangers they face as the PCs strive to be the
first to learn the secrets of the “City of Seven Spears” (so
called for the seven towering spires that dominate the city’s
skyline). Yet when they rescue an adventurer and restore
her shattered mind, she warns them that Saventh-Yhi was
built above an even greater secret city from time’s abyss, a
serpentfolk ruin called Ilmurea. Her mentor, the disgraced
Pathfinder Eando Kline, remains trapped in Ilmurea, and
even worse, the serpentfolk are gathering in unprecedented
numbers in the city for an unknown reason.

PART-4: Vaults of madness
The PCs explore the tangle of dungeons and caverns below
Saventh-Yhi—a region feared by the city’s natives
as the “Vaults of Madness.” Conf lict with the
other competing factions comes to a head,
complicated by the untimely arrival
of the Gorilla King himself! While
handling growing tensions above, the
PCs learn that the Vaults of Madness
are indeed linked to Ilmurea. If they
hope to rescue Eando Kline and
discover what the serpentfolk are up
to, they must rebuild an ancient portal
and repair the mystic link between the
two lost cities.

PART-5: the thousand fangs below
The PCs arrive in the Darklands ruin of Ilmurea to find it
far from deserted. Tribes of deformed morlocks, daemon worshiping monstrosities, and body-stealing intellect
devourers control much of the ruins, along with a growing
population of serpentfolk. As the PCs explore Ilmurea,
they learn that the serpentfolk have recovered Ydersius’s
head and intend to reunite their god’s mind with his body,
and in so doing, restore the glory of their empire and seek
a return to their ancient rule over humanity. After they
rescue Eando Kline, the PCs learn that Saventh-Yhi is not
just an Azlanti city—it’s a weapon the ancients built to use
against Ilmurea should the serpentfolk ever return.

PART-6; sanctum of the serpent god
The PCs return to Saventh-Yhi and must arrange a truce
among the tribes above so that when they trigger the city’s
seven spears and send the monoliths lancing down into
the heart of Ilmurea below, they’ll have an army they can
lead into the serpentfolk city. While their army clashes
with the serpents, the PCs invade the deadly serpentfolk
fortress, where the serpents’ monstrous leader makes
ready to awaken his slumbering god. If the PCs are swift
and sure, they may only face the rising avatar of a deity.
But if they take too long, what awaits them may well be
their doom.


While the rise of the serpent empire is the primary plotline
of the Serpent’s Skull Adventure Path, it begins with a
much more personal challenge for the PCs—a shipwreck
upon the island of Smuggler’s Shiv.
The Sargavan merchant vessel Jenivere was one of many
that make the yearly voyage along the western coasts of
Avistan and northern Garund. Its trade route ran from the
Sargavan capital city of Eleder all the way up to Magnimar
in Varisia, and then back south again. The trip was 3,400
miles long and took just over a hundred days one way. Yet
despite its length and sometimes dangerous peril, it was
also a trip filled with opportunity for profit. The Jenivere’s
ports of call included (from north to south) Magnimar,
Kintargo, Pezzack, Corentyn, Ilizmagorti, Ollo, Quent,
Port Peril, Bloodcove, Senghor, and finally Eleder—it was
at these cities that the PCs boarded the ship.
One of the Jenivere’s passengers appeared to be a
plain-looking Varisian scholar named Ieana. Although
friendly enough, Ieana mostly kept to herself, and
whispers among the crew variously claimed that she was
really a Chelish agent, the actual owner of the Jenivere,
or even Captain Alizandru Kovack’s secret lover. None
of these were true, but Ieana is indeed far more than she
appeared—she is in fact a disguised serpentfolk cleric
of Ydersius named Yarzoth.
Some time ago, while exploring the dungeons below
the ruined serpentfolk fortress of Viperwall in Varisia,
Yarzoth discovered something shocking. According to
her discovery, an ancient serpentfolk temple hidden
on Smuggler’s Shiv contains a clue to the location of a
legendary city named Saventh-Yhi—the same city in
which her deity was defeated eons ago. Eager to learn more
and perhaps discover the legendary ruined city (and maybe
even relics left behind by her god’s ancient decapitation),
Yarzoth killed a Varisian scholar, assumed her identity via
disguise self, and bought passage on the Jenivere.
As the voyage progressed, Yarzoth kept to herself and
maintained her disguise. Her talent at deception and her
periodic and subtle use of suggestion on the ship’s captain
and crew ensured that no one on board suspected the
actual truth. As the Jenivere began the final stage of her
journey across Desperation Bay, Yarzoth made her move.
She used dominate person to enthrall Captain Kovack and
thus ensured that the ship’s course veered slightly off its
intended route, sending it many miles off course into waters
known for their dangerous currents, piracy, monsters, and
worse. The Jenivere was now on a collision course with the
notorious island known as Smuggler’s Shiv.
With the crew growing increasingly suspicious of the
unusual course, Yarzoth knew she had to take drastic action
if she was going to reach Smuggler’s Shiv before a mutiny
Advancement Track
Characters should be 1st level when they begin
“Souls for Smuggler’s Shiv.” By the time they are
ready to explore the interior of Smuggler’s Shiv and
confront the Thrunefang cannibals, the PCs should
be 2nd level. They should be 3rd level when they are
preparing to enter the Azlanti temple, and should
finish the adventure at 4th level.
occurred. So, the night before the ship’s fateful encounter
with the island’s northern shore, she slipped into the ship’s
galley, murdered the cook, and used multiple vials of oil of
taggit to poison the evening’s meal (excluding the alreadydominated captain and the first mate Alton Devers, whom
she dominated just before she murdered the cook). After
hiding the cook’s body and disguising herself as him, she
saw to the delivery of the poisoned meal to passengers
and crew. Yet soon thereafter, with the majority of the
ship (including the PCs) unconscious from the poisoning,
Yarzoth’s plans finally began to unravel.
First, with so many of the ship’s crew unable to aid
in manning the ship, the Jenivere was quickly snatched
up by the notorious currents. Held fast in these
currents and hurtling for the sharp rocks of the isle’s
northern shore, the first mate accomplished something
the captain could not—he managed to overcome the
domination (by succeeding on a new saving throw when
ordered by the captain to aid in the approach to the
dangerous shore) and confronted the captain, accusing
him of madness and demanding that he turn away from
his disastrous course. Captain Kovack didn’t take well
to the insubordination and, with some mental urging
from Yarzoth, attacked Alton. The resulting battle was
furious, but before the captain could kill his mate, the
Jenivere struck Smuggler’s Shiv. The ship lurched as it
impaled itself and split in half upon the sharp rocks,
sending both Captain Kovack and Yarzoth plummeting
into the surf.
Still on board the doomed ship, the wounded first mate’s
concern shifted to the safety of the ship’s passengers. The
ship’s crew, being housed on a lower deck, had drowned
in the wreck, but her passengers yet lived. With a heroic
effort, he managed to drag the passengers (the PCs plus
five others) into the Jenivere’s lifeboat and made several
trips to a nearby beach to off load the survivors. Alton
then returned to the ship to make a last attempt to gather
supplies, but here his luck finally ran out, for a horrific
beast—a sea scorpion—had been washed onto the deck.
The creature stung him several times, and although Alton managed to take shelter in a small supply room, he soon
perished from the venom, leaving the PCs and a few others
alone on Desperation Bay’s most notorious shore.

In ages past, the Azlanti hero Savith led an army to Garund
to defeat the serpent empire once and for all. After leading
her troops on a fierce campaign through the Screaming
Jungle and into the Mwangi Expanse in search of the
serpentfolk city of Ilmurea, Savith built a small fort in a
secluded area a mere stone’s throw from the deep scars in
the earth that led to Ilmurea from the surface. Within this
stronghold, called Tazion, Savith built a map of the region
to plot her final assault on the serpentfolk city. When Savith
ultimately perished defeating the serpentfolk god Ydersius,
her followers built a city in the jungle above Ilmurea and
named it Saventh-Yhi (“Savith’s Grave”) in her honor. With
the rise of the city, Tazion waned in importance, though it
still stood near one of the entrances to the hidden valley.
Decades later, cultists of Zura, the demon lord of
vampires, were banished from Saventh-Yhi for their
dangerous beliefs. Fleeing to the island of Smuggler’s
Shiv, these cultists became vampires and plotted a return
to their homeland to spread Zura’s worship and their curse
of vampirism to their former brethren. Unfortunately for
them, the magical wards surrounding Saventh-Yhi kept
them from simply retracing their steps. Thus, they planned
to enter the city through Tazion, where they could use
Savith’s original magical map to find the “back door” into
Saventh-Yhi. Before their plans could be realized, however,
Earthfall struck. The cultists died before they could reach
the city, and Saventh-Yhi fell soon after as well, becoming
one of the Mwangi Expanse’s most famous lost cities.
Thus has Saventh-Yhi existed for millennia, abandoned,
ruined, and magically hidden from the rest of the world.
And though other inhabitants have found their way into the
cloaked city over the years, these are but savage intruders
in a city long lost to time and history. Outside the wards
cloaking Saventh-Yhi, however, the ancient bastion of
Tazion still stands, and clues left on Smuggler’s Shiv point
the way to this crumbling Azlanti ruin. And though some
have discovered the ruins of Tazion, none have yet realized
the true nature of the secrets held within its walls.
Saventh-Yhi has long captured the imaginations of
explorers, treasure-hunters, and adventurers. Currently,
five powerful factions search for Saventh-Yhi, each for their
own reasons: the Aspis Consortium, the Free Captains of
the Shackles, the Pathfinder Society, the Red Mantis, and
the Sargavan government. When the PCs arrive in Eleder
and word gets out that they have clues to the location of the
legendary city, these factions might finally have a chance
of finding the city and claiming it for themselves.

Ten thousand years is a long time to wait.
Modern civilizations may have forgotten it, but the
Azlanti ruin of Saventh-Yhi is far from empty. It waits
deep in the Mwangi Expanse, hidden by rugged cliffs in
a magically occluded valley, and grants shelter to ancient
evils and savage creatures alike. Fabulous wealth lies there,
waiting to be claimed by anyone brave or strong enough
to seize it. And with the arrival of the PCs and their rival
factions, quite a few people are about to try just that.
The city of Saventh-Yhi was built nearly 11,000 years
ago, during the twilight years of the golden age of Azlant
before Earthfall and the onset of the Age of Darkness.
Constructed as a tribute to the Azlanti heroine Savith
above the site where she defeated the snake god Ydersius,
the city was constructed both to honor her sacrifice and
to stand vigil over the ruined serpentfolk city of Ilmurea
deep below. In each of Saventh-Yhi’s seven districts, a stone
ziggurat symbolizing one of the honest virtues of Azlanti
rule was erected, and atop each of these sites the ancients
placed a spire-like monument. These seven obelisks
came to symbolize the city’s skyline, and even before the
doom that was to come, they gave the city its enduring
nickname—the City of Seven Spears.
Yet as the Age of Darkness grew near, not all of the
citizens of Saventh-Yhi remained blissfully unaware that
their days were numbered. Some among the city began
to receive visions and read dire omens. One priest in
particular, a cleric of Pharasma named Urschlar Vohkavi,
became convinced that Saventh-Yhi was nearing a great
doom. Even as Urschlar’s power in Saventh-Yhi grew (at
an increasingly suspicious rate), his paranoia and fears
seemed to spread throughout the city’s citizens as well. As
the pall of fear expanded, the leaders of Saventh-Yhi built
underground vaults into which they began securing their
most prized belongings. Even had Earthfall not finished
the job this growing paranoia had begun, Saventh-Yhi
was hurtling toward an end. Yet Earthfall did come, and it
hastened that end. The impacts of countless falling stars
upon Golarion caused panic in the great city, and it did not
take long at all for Saventh-Yhi to die.
And for 10,000 years, that city’s corpse has lain hidden,
forgotten by most of the world and dreamed about by
others. The ancient preservative magic on the city helped
to prevent its destruction by the advancing years, yet even
the greatest magic cannot hold back the jungle and erosion
completely. And while the city’s magical wards and defenses
helped to keep it hidden, these wards were not foolproof.
As the ages wore on and the magic began to slowly fail,
new denizens crept into the city along narrow rivers or
down jungle-choked cliffs. The Saventh-Yhi destined to
be discovered today is far from an empty place—it teems
with life, both of the wild and dangerous variety and the
Advancement Track
Characters should be 7th level when they begin “City
of Seven Spears.” This adventure presents an entire
lost city for the PCs to explore, and the direction
they take in that exploration is left entirely up to
them. The PCs should be 10th level when they face
the ghast necromancer Sozothala at the end of the
adventure. “City of Seven Spears” uses the Medium
advancement track for experience.
intelligent and even more dangerous kind. The secrets
and wealth and wonders of the lost city are ripe for the
plucking, but harvesting these wonders will be anything
but simple for the newcomers.
And beneath it all, an ancient evil stirs to life—one
that the squabbling factions of treasure-hunters and
glory-seekers are destined to become the last bastion of
defense against.

The city of Saventh-Yhi had been in a slow but steady
decline for years prior to the Earthfall. Many of its seers
and mystics feared some great calamity was coming,
and the fact that certain prognosticators within Azlant
would not respond to their queries led them to believe
that something was brewing about which they were
not being told. With their focus looking outward at the
vague warnings and inscrutable portents that preceded
Earthfall, they failed to look inward at a more immediate
danger that faced them in the form of a lone madman
bent on “saving” the city in his own twisted way.
For many years Urschlar Vohkavi, Pharasma’s high
priest of prophecy in Saventh-Yhi, had served as a
powerful member of the city’s Council of Seven Spears.
In the years leading up to Earthfall, he became more
and more troubled by strange portents of some vague
destruction and catastrophe looming in the near future.
His attempts to divine the nature of this gruesome fate
were stymied again and again by the menacing silence
coming from his superiors in Azlant and the lack of
direct answers from his deity.
Like many of his peers among the high priests of
prophecy and fate in Pharasma’s church, Urschlar had
particular sensitivities that made him none too stable
and more susceptible to stresses on the psyche. He found
himself consumed by a dread knowledge that he could not
fully fathom and was unable to effectively communicate
to those around him, and this pushed him ever deeper
into his eccentricities. After several years of beseeching
his goddess for answers that were not forthcoming, he
resolved to present his questions to her court personally.
He gathered the necessary funds and magic to journey to
the Boneyard itself to seek his answers.
In Pharasma’s Boneyard, Urschlar was unable to
secure an audience with the Lady of Graves, for she was
far too busy tending to her divine duties. Instead he
found himself wandering aimlessly among the endless
sepulchers of the Graveyard of Souls. There, among the
bleached light and shadows of the death moon Groetus,
Urschlar found a strange black f lower growing within
the partially unearthed bones of an ancient rib cage.
When he plucked the f lower, Urschlar heard a slippery,
whispering voice that explained much of what he sought
to know and gave him the means to make his people see it
as well—the secret of midnight spores.
Shortly after Urschlar returned to Saventh-Yhi from
his planar travels, Pharasma’s other two high priests
of birth and death died under tragic circumstances,
leaving the city stunned and bewildered, and granting
Urschlar much greater inf luence than before. Using the
strange circumstances as a staging position, he began
publicly preaching of the still ill-defined disaster that
Advancement Track
Characters should be 10th level when they begin
“Vaults of Madness.” By the time they are ready to
enter the Vault of the Body Thief, the PCs should
be near 12th level. This adventure uses the Medium
advancement track for experience.
threatened to overtake the city. To bolster the effects of
his harangue, he began to secretly and slowly introduce
the midnight spores he had begun cultivating into the
city’s reservoir.
Although Urschlar’s own concentrated exposure to
them had driven him irrevocably insane with paranoia,
the midnight spores were not sufficiently concentrated
to have overt effects on the city’s populace. Within a few
weeks, however, their maddening effects had increased
the sense of foreboding already encompassing the city.
Fears were heightened, but only those few who were
particularly susceptible to the spores suffered actual
mental breaks, exhibiting random acts of violence or
sudden collapses. Because no one understood the cause of
these subtle-yet-pervasive phenomena, no investigation
was made into them, and the city continued to suffer.
With more and more of the masses heeding his
prophecies of doom, Urschlar continued to seed the city’s
water supply with the midnight spores while poisoning
the people’s minds with a growing sense of panic. Once
the number of people attending his sermons reached
a critical mass, Urschlar declared a major disaster was
coming that would destroy the city if they were not
prepared. He would not say what the calamity would be,
but he assured the people and the city leaders that they
must prepare or else be annihilated when disaster came.
The city heeded Urschlar’s warnings and gave him free
reign in the preparations for the city’s survival. First he
ordered the excavation of deep vaults beneath the city’s
seven districts, where the populace and their most valued
possessions could be safely sequestered when disaster
came. Then, into one of these he moved one of the city’s
most powerful artifacts, the Argental Font—a magical
fountain bestowed upon the city by the gods, whose waters
were said to cure any ailment and were one of the few
means of curing the infection of the midnight spores.
Construction continued on the seven vaults, and
Urschlar installed many hidden rooms and traps,
def lecting any questions as to their purpose with
ambiguous prophetic pronouncements. Urschlar began
secretly cultivating major growths of the midnight
spores in these rooms, creating a vast storehouse of the mold with which he could continue the city’s paranoid
reliance upon him, fearing that if the spores’ inf luence
were broken, he would no longer be heeded and the city
would be caught unprepared by the impending doom.
In his own advanced lunacy, Urschlar could not see that
his own actions in infesting the city’s populace with
the madness-inducing spores were only ushering in the
doom he was trying to avoid.
Earthfall’s sudden impacts on Golarion caused great
upheaval and shifts in the earth, and as one particularly
powerful tremor engulfed Saventh-Yhi, it disturbed the
cultivating chambers of the midnight spore growths
and vented the spores over the entire city through newly
created fissures and cracks. The black cloud of deadly
spores caused the city to erupt in a violent spasm of chaos,
and in a single night Saventh-Yhi tore itself apart. Those
few who survived the initial turmoil within the city
stumbled dazedly into the surrounding jungle, consumed
from within by spore-induced insanity, and died horribly
among the jungle’s natural dangers. With the death of
these last few maddened survivors, so too died all direct
knowledge of the city of triumphant Savith, deep in the
heart of Garund.

Urschlar himself was not spared the calamity. The
disaster had arrived much sooner than his own maddened
prophecies had predicted, and proved greater than even
his own fevered imaginings. When the tremors struck
the city, he found himself inadvertently exposed to a
toxic concentration of the purified midnight spores. His
only hope lay with the enchanted waters of the Argental
Font that he had locked away, but the traps and wards he
had erected were too potent for him to quickly navigate.
Urschlar Vohkavi died in spasms of agony, a victim of the
very traps that he had put in place.

The city of Ilmurea was founded countless centuries ago
deep beneath the land that is now called the Mwangi
Expanse, as a sister city to the notorious serpentfolk
capital of Sverenagati far to the north. Ilmurea was built to
provide a stepping-stone to the southern part of the surface
world, where the power of mighty Azlant was weaker and
the serpentfolk could win their longed-for stronghold on
the surface. Ilmurea grew into a mighty fortress-city, and
the serpentfolk were able to move into and conquer the
jungle lands above.
The serpentfolk had scant time to consolidate their
position on the surface, however, before a huge Azlanti army
arrived upon the continent of Garund. As in the north, the
Azlanti drove the serpentfolk back underground. Deep in
Ilmurea, the Azlanti heroine Savith fought the serpentfolk
god Ydersius, ultimately defeating and beheading him.
She cast his head into a pool of lava and disposed of his
body in a bottomless pit within the serpentfolk’s holiest
temple. In the process, Savith was poisoned, and she died
soon after. But despite Savith’s sacrifice, Ydersius was not
destroyed. His body wandered the Darklands mindlessly
for thousands of years while his head remained entombed
in rock after the lava cooled.
With the conquest of Ilmurea and the apparent death
of their god, the strength of the serpentfolk empire was
broken, never to recover. The survivors slunk away into
hidden redoubts in Sekamina, there to hibernate and
await the day they could rise again and reclaim their
rightful place above the lesser races of Golarion. With
the serpentfolk retreat, the Azlanti collapsed all of the
tunnels connecting the city to the rest of Sekamina, save
for the six serpent gates that opened onto even deeper
Darklands realms.
To further guard against a serpentfolk return, Savith’s
followers founded a city in the jungles above, naming
it Saventh-Yhi (“Savith’s Grave”) in her honor. Yet the
advent of Earthfall eventually brought an end not only to
Saventh-Yhi, but to the entire Azlanti empire. Far below
in Ilmurea, the tremors that accompanied Earthfall
caused a vast chasm to open in the cavern f loor, dealing
extensive damage to that city as well. Both Saventh-Yhi
and Ilmurea lay forgotten for ages.
But the destruction of the two cities did not claim all of
their denizens. While most of Saventh-Yhi’s inhabitants
f led or perished during the horror of Earthfall, a small
contingent of Azlanti guards was trapped below in
Ilmurea. Sheltered from the worst of Earthfall’s effects,
these survivors eked out a meager existence far beneath
the surface, gradually regressing into feral, degenerate
creatures called morlocks.
For many centuries Ilmurea belonged to the morlocks,
until a group of daemon-spawn urdef hans discovered
Advancement Track
Characters should be 13th level when they begin “The
Thousand Fangs Below.” The PCs should be 14th level
when they enter the fortress of Thousand Fangs, and
by the time they rescue Eando Kline, they should be
well on their way to 16th level. This adventure uses the
medium advancement track for experience.
the ruined city. These dangerous native outsiders dwelt
in a deeper realm far below—infused with otherworldly
energy and bred for war, urdef hans (known to some as
Orvian vampires because of their bloodthirsty appetites)
have long served as minions of Abaddon on the Material
Plane. The group of urdef hans who came to Ilmurea did
so after they f led their home nation of Doga-Delloth
following a failed coup. The fugitives initially planned to
return to Orv once they gathered their strength, but they
found the city much to their liking, and their temporary
sanctuary soon became a new home.
For many more centuries, the morlocks and urdef hans
shared the city between them, periodically warring with
one another and any others who happened upon the lost
city, until the recent return of the serpentfolk. In far-off
Sverenagati, a serpentfolk priest of Ydersius named VyrAzul learned of the existence of Ilmurea, and realized that
his god’s severed head might very well still remain in the
forgotten city. Vyr-Azul gathered an army of serpentfolk
and journeyed through the Darklands to Ilmurea. Upon
arriving in the ancestral city, Vyr-Azul set his minions to
unearthing Ydersius’s severed head, believing that if he
could recover the god’s skull, it might somehow empower
a resurgence of the ancient serpentfolk empire.
Even more recently, Pathfinder Eando Kline and his
group of explorers arrived in Ilmurea. Kline had recently
discovered a smaller city of slumbering serpentfolk far
to the north, from which he barely escaped with his life.
Carrying on his own researches after being ostracized
from the Pathfinder Society, Kline eventually learned of
Ilmurea and that the possibility of restoring the entire
serpentfolk empire conceivably lay there as well. Arriving
through the Darklands, Kline and his team began
exploring the city. In the process, they discovered the
imminent threat posed by Vyr-Azul’s plans, and Kline
decided that the only hope of preventing the resurrection
of Ydersius was to unite the city’s other inhabitants
against the serpentfolk.
Taking advantage of the morlocks’ reverence for their
Azlanti ancestors, Kline convinced the morlocks that
he and his followers were an Azlanti expedition sent to
recover the lost city and destroy the serpentfolk once and
for all. After securing the morlocks’ aid, Kline turned his
attention to the urdef hans, who had been warring with
the serpentfolk since their unexpected return. Kline’s
brazen proposal piqued the interest of the urdefhans’
leader, a half-fiend named Izon, but before he would
agree to an alliance, he wanted Kline to kill or recapture
an urdef han warrior who had defected to the serpentfolk.
Unfortunately, Kline and his group failed in this task, and
were themselves captured by the serpentfolk. Only one
of Kline’s followers managed to escape—the Pathfinder
chronicler Juliver, who made her way to Saventh-Yhi
above in search of help.
Now Eando Kline sits in a serpentfolk prison waiting
for Vyr-Azul to question him personally. The presence of
a surface-dweller in Ilmurea, so close to the culmination
of his plans, is disturbing, and the serpentfolk priest
needs to know if it is a token of a greater threat to his
ambition to restore his people to their former power and
glory. Yet being so close to the realization of his life goal,
Vyr-Azul has delayed turning his full attention to the
lesser task of interrogation—the PCs have some time, as
a result, to rescue Eando and learn what he knows of the
rising threat to the world above.

Of all the battles waged between the Azlanti and the
serpentfolk—from the heights of Viperwall in ancient
Thassilon to the depths of the Mwangi Expanse in
Garund—none had a more profound impact on their
genocidal war than the titanic struggle that took place in
Ilmurea. There, the Azlanti heroine Savith beheaded the
snake-god Ydersius, plunging the serpentfolk civilization
into an abyss so dark and unyielding that they’ve struggled
to recover ever since. Indeed, as a species, the serpentfolk
lost much of their cultural identity after Ydersius’s
demise, devolving into monstrous brutes challenged by
near-constant infighting and forgetting much of their
proud history.
But the natural order of evolution sometimes replaces
the vagaries of fate with fortune. Even as Earthfall
doomed the Azlanti empire, it shielded the remaining
serpentfolk from annihilation, granting them one
last chance at survival. With almost every generation
thereafter, serpentfolk of greater intelligence and
ambition emerged in each tribe. Assuming a mantle
of leadership over their less-evolved brethren, they
invariably aspired to return their species to glory—even
as they challenged one another to be the first to do so.
Most of these individuals took up magic, rediscovering
the arcane lore practiced by their predecessors and using
it to reclaim serpentfolk cities and goad their tribes into
a frenzy of rage against any who would challenge their
supremacy. Others, however, turned to faith, looking
for more sibyllic answers in the will of Ydersius, filled
with visions of their serpent-god still calling out to his
children from the abyss of the Darklands.
the convictions of vyr-azul
Miles away from Ilmurea, in the serpentfolk city of
Sverenagati, a serpentfolk noble named Vyr-Azul came to
embrace the religious doctrine of his people with a fervor
unmatched by any before him. This devotion, as well as
his divinely inspired dreams, led Vyr-Azul to believe that
Savith had only managed to behead Ydersius, failing to
slay the god outright. Even normal snakes seemingly
live on when beheaded, and serpentfolk legends often
spoke of the astounding regenerative powers of Ydersius.
Azlanti manuscripts and murals also cited the horror of
the snake-god’s still-writhing body as it retreated into
the Darklands, and spoke of Ydersius’s indestructible
skull which Savith cast into a lake of fire after it endured
every effort to destroy it. These revelations, as well as
Ydersius’s continued empowerment of Vyr-Azul’s spells,
led him to conclude his god lived on—certainly wounded
and lessened in power, but alive and fully capable of
recovering. Vyr-Azul saw this doctrine as a fitting
metaphor for the serpentfolk species and used it to rally
Advancement Track
Characters should be 15th level when they begin
“Sanctum of the Serpent God.” By the time they lead
their rag-tag army against Ilmurea, they should be
well into 16th level. Finally, after winning their way
through Vyr-Azul’s sanctum, they should attain 17th
level before a colossal showdown with the avatar of
the restored snake-god Ydersius. “Sanctum of the
Serpent God” uses the medium XP track.
followers to his cause. For inasmuch as the serpentfolk
civilization fell into decline with the defeat of their god,
so too might their return to prominence coincide with
Ydersius’s restoration.
Vyr-Azul quickly established himself as the highest ranking priest in the snake-god’s clergy, leading a
spiritual revival among multiple tribes and encouraging
them to band together. He used their mutual beliefs
and the myths of Ydersius to turn them away from the
infighting and ceaseless struggles against the scavengers
plaguing their city. Instead, he directed the serpentfolk
to explore and reclaim the lore of their ancestors—the
original builders of Sverenagati—many of whom had
retreated from the war with Azlant to lock themselves
within nigh-impregnable vaults, entering into ages-long
hibernations. Vyr-Azul hungered to make contact with
these scions of his people, desperate to share his message
of hope and secure their assistance in bringing about the
renewal of Ydersius.
It took years of effort and faith in his cause, but VyrAzul’s minions finally breached one of the hibernation
chambers of his ancient ancestors. Inside, he found four
champions of Sverenagati, powerful wizards and generals
he cautiously roused from their ageless slumber. At first,
these elder serpentfolk resented his intrusion. But, after
plying them with information of Azlant’s collapse, he
convinced them to grudgingly accept him as an equal.
Somewhat skeptical of his new theology, these champions
listened to Vyr-Azul’s theories and agreed to help him find
Ydersius’s remains if for no other reason than to unify the
serpentfolk with his religious movement in preparation
for invading the Overburn (as the serpentfolk refer to
the surface world) and repaying Azlant’s descendants by
enslaving all humanity.
Vyr-Azul’s newfound allies supplied him with a variety of
resources, including the means to reincarnate serpentfolk
agents into the flesh of modern humans so they might
act as his spies and saboteurs in the Overburn. They also
provided him with the location of Ilmurea, sister-city
to Sverenagati, enabling Vyr-Azul to lead an expedition
through the Darklands to reclaim the ancient site. Upon
his arrival, it took several months to retrace the steps of
Savith’s battle with Ydersius, but he finally reached the
snake-god’s ancient temple, buried in the walls of Ilmurea’s
partially collapsed cavern. Within the inner sanctum of
this ancient complex, he also found the Chasm of Retreat,
a deep pit through which Ydersius’s decapitated body had
fallen into the deepest reaches of Orv.
The serpentfolk’s arrival in Ilmurea soon brought
them into conf lict with the urdef hans and morlocks
already living in the city. Forced to delay the temple’s
renewal to deal with these threats, Vyr-Azul’s forces
ultimately drove the urdefhans and morlocks into the far
southern reaches of the city. But one group of urdef hans
was split off from the rest of their army, and took refuge
in an ancient serpentfolk arena. These urdef hans, under
the leadership of a warrior named Valglaunt, discovered
a planar portal that allowed them to summon daemons
to strengthen their ranks for an eventual counterstrike
against the serpentfolk. Unknown to any of the factions
in Ilmurea, however, these abandoned ruins also held a
secret “weapon” dating back to the days of Savith.
Meanwhile, Vyr-Azul prepared divinations to locate
and summon Ydersius’s headless body while searching
Ilmurea for the god’s skull. He eventually discovered
the skull trapped within a long-cooled lake of lava
outside the snake-god’s temple, and shaped the stone to
release the fossilized skull and return it to the Sanctum
of Ydersius. Mounting the skull on a ceremonial dais
before the Chasm of Retreat, Vyr-Azul now attempts to
telepathically summon Ydersius’s decapitated body from
the Darklands, so he can rejoin the snake-god’s head and
body, restore Ydersius to his full divine power, and carry
out his vengeance upon humanity.