Their hidden traveler revealed, the party is left under the care of two of Eela Ssyzareth’s yuan-ti halfblood bodyguards and meeting the also imprisoned Calliope Tass. Cale, Rimidan and Sabrina slip off their hooks and attempt to make an escape, fighting the serpent men without their weapons as best they can until Eela arrives, a sobbing Norkas in tow.
Eela reveals herself as a yuan-ti, a race of people who, in ancient times, mingled with serpents and were cursed for their hubris. She reveals that the yuan-ti plan to sacrifice a priestess before the full moon, ushering in a new hatching of her people, who plan to rise from the earth and retake the thrones abandoned by the elves. She promises the party will be unable to stop her as they’ll be fed to the yuan-ti as needed.
After days of travel, the party arrives at a cave on the edge of the desert. They’re led down into the dark, past guards and shadowy chambers into a prison area where they’re placed in cages suspended over a pit of crocodiles. Their only other companion: a mysterious wounded half orc, also waiting his death.