After the dreadful battle with the Yuan-ti patrol the previous day, the party wakes up and begins discussing its plan to continue on its quest to resurrect Valez Du’ Urth. As they deliberate, a caravan approaches the camp. It is a small caravan of dwarves, lead by Dori Brightstone.
The caravan brings news of Chevkos’ escape from the Silver Hill Jail. Word from the surviving guards has it that he was broken out by a man in black clothes carrying an enormous sword and acting alone. The party quickly arrives at the conclusion that this must have been the Black Reaper. After discussing this hideous and frightening news, which makes evident the fearful truth that the enemy is strong and growing stronger, the party comes back to the subject of raising Valez; Jaeleo Artimer informs them that his resurrection will require very special magical artifacts in order to succeed.
The party asks him where such artifacts might be found; he raises a rumor that the Dwarven kingdom of Kullengaard might be in possession of some artifacts that could be suitable for this purpose, but denies any possibility that the group would be able to gain them peacefully. He also mentions that the Yuan-ti are currently in possession of a few items that might work: a feather of the Raven Queen, a Ruby Sphere, and the Queen Bee from the Hives of Waxton. Given that the Yuan-ti seem to be somewhat aligned with the Black Reaper, the party arrives at the grim conclusion that the next step of their journey will take them to the gates of the City of Fangs.
Before leaving, one of the hospitaliers, a dwarven paladin named Rovendor Hammersmith, offers to join them to the City. Having been among the hospitaliers for quite some time, he is known to Miria, who introduces him to the rest of the party. After introductions are made, the party sets off to attack the City of Fangs.
On their trek through the forest, the party encounters a group of strange, bug-like creatures. Unknown to any member of the group, these creatures have insect-like faces and eyes, carrying daggers in each of four hands. Although frighteningly mysterious, these wandering monsters do not pose a serious threat to the group, and are defeated easily after a well-coordinated effort by the adventuring party.
Coming to the top of a hill, catching their first glimpses of the tops of the buildings in the city of fangs, the group finds an astonishing sight: they see Telmar, the shopkeeper in Twin Sword Springs, standing over the slain body of Kornzinalikur, the great Copper Dragon that had nearly completely slain the adventuring party less than a week before. Telmar was wearing chain mail, and carried two sheathed swords. The strangest part of this image, however, was that Telmar appeared remarkably unhurt. After expressing their shock at the sight, Telmar informs them why he allowed the party to enter a fatal battle against Kornzinalikur when he was completely able to defeat her himself: firstly, he wanted to uncover the party’s capabilities, and secondly, he has always sought to avoid the dangers of a life in which he constantly exerted his strength in battle, choosing instead the humble life of a shopkeeper in a peaceful town.
After this discussion, the party asks him what he might know about the strange creatures they fought earlier that day, and he gathers from their description that they had come against Foulspawn, creatures of the Far Realm. The most frightening fact of this speculation is that these creatures cannot have reached these parts on their own — some other power must have brought them out. Fears are felt about the implications of this fact, but none are voiced.
Slow to trust this man, who has so far proven to possess and to conceal his own secrets at the party’s expense, Dryug devises a harmless test of his abilities, and stealthily hurls a sack of Mr. Ma‘s gumbo towards Telmar. In a comic attempt at reconciliation, Ravendor tries to intercept the bag of strange mush, leaping forward to catch it, but he immediately falls to the ground and rolls down the hill. It appeared that he was so overcome by the gumbo’s pure filthiness, that he was physically repelled off of the knoll. Undistracted by this odd reaction, Telmar easily sidesteps the speeding wad of soggy leaves and unknown meat. Impressed by this dodging maneuver, the party asks him if he would be willing to join them on their journey to the Yuan-ti stronghold; he accepts, and they continue, down into the swamp.
As they journey through the swamp, the city slowly appears through gaps in the thick, murky trees. To ensure a safe return passage, Will begins marking trees with magical burns; Piss, Mr. Ma’s baffling mount, marks them otherwise.
As surely as clouds bring rain, swamps bring danger. Deep in the dark maze of the swamp, Hilbert Cantormann and Dryug hear a number of swamp creatures following them. Before the party can be alerted and called into formation, a group of lizardmen and crocodiles attack! Immediately, Telmar leaps into action against a close-by lizardmen, and obliterates him with a vicious flurry of blows from his twin swords. Hilbert runs after a lizardman in the opposite direction, and Will follows after to blast at the group of swamp creatures beyond, but quickly falls into the enormous jaws of a giant crocodile. Mr. Ma runs to help with a necrotic blast, as Miria, Rekas, and Dryug follow to offer the blows of their weapons, while in the confusion, Wil is poisoned by a blowdart fired by a lizardman hiding low in the marsh waters. Finally, Rekas Selchar manages to strike the crocodile so viciously that Will is released from its deadly grasp.
Hilbert makes a fiery strike against the nearest lizardman, who bursts into flames, spreading onto one of his allies as they burn him alive. Oddly, though, this lizardman pulls himself away from the immediate enemy, working himself into the center of the party’s formation to attack Rekas, the nearest human being. However, he is crippled under Miria’s strength, and Rekas’ destroys him almost casually before tearing into another giant crocodile, who has begun snapping its jaws at Telmar. Meanwhile, Mr. Ma conjures a number of mirrors from the ground, surrounding one of the burning lizardmen on the opposite side of the fray. Hilbert follows up by beginning an attack on the enmirrored enemy, who is finished off by his own ally, who has been induced into confusion by Will’s powerful magic.
As Telmar, Miria, Will, and Rekas polish off the remaining lizardmen, Hilbert, Dryug, and Mr. Ma run off into the marsh East of their path, hoping to find the sneaky one who has been firing venomous darts into the formation. Nevertheless, he evades their sights and attacks until the rest of the party manages to join them; at this point, Will slows the unseen enemy, but inadvertently hampers the movement of Hilbert and Miria as well in the process. Dryug, Miria, Telmar, and Hilbert each makes an attempt to charge the elusive creature, until they finally defeat him with far more irritation than resistance. As they regroup on the drier path, Mr. Ma is found skinning the gators, mumbling about gumbo and sacks, although which product the gator skin is more suited for, the group cannot discern. Rekas, always adorning himself with exotic artifacts of his savage conquest, collects the gators’ largest teeth.
As they continue in their approach towards the city, the adventurers take an uneasy rest on a dry patch of land under a rotting, leaning tree. A watch is set, but thankfully no danger befalls them. They awake, march the final miles before coming into sight of the city walls, and set to the austere business of planning their attack against the Yuan-ti city.
It is concluded that the artifacts they seek will most likely be kept in the jealously guarded temple, central to the town. This fact makes outright infiltration difficult, since they will have to march past every vigil and every guard in the city before arriving at the temple, where the Yuan-ti’s priests and sorcerers will undoubtedly wield great power in defending the precious treasures. Although the Yuan-ti people is not composed exclusively of warriors, the party is aware that, when the Yuan-ti do march, they are not trifled with casually. Telmar offers his service as a distraction against the main force of the city; although they are skeptical of his ability to withstand an entire army, Mr. Ma claims that his sticks have indicated that this idea is reliable (although some of the party silently wonder whether Mr. Ma may be misinterpreting Piss’s chew marks in the sticks as clairvoyant signs). As Telmar draws away the bulk of the city’s warriors, the party will infiltrate the temple and retrieve the magical items. Miria, who remains doubtful of the party’s ability to withstand a defense system of indefinite, and most likely formidable, strength, is finally persuaded of the plan when Will volunteers the possibility of producing an illusion of the Black Reaper in case of an emergency; the illusion would be able to intimidate any aggressive Yuan-ti and convince them that the party’s invasion is his will, and that they are either powerless against him, or that they will simply have to accept the pillaging of their treasures as part of the cost of being on his side. As an additional preparation, Mr. Ma magically generates a large amount of gold, thinking that the greedy, self-serving Yuan-ti may be compromised by a quick bribe.
The group approaches the city. Inside, they see a courtyard featuring a large statue of a snake constricting and killing a badger; Hilbert is clearly angered by the monolith, but his expression is subdued by the knowledge that he will soon have his chance at vengeance within the temple. Telmar walks up to the gates, effortlessly stunning two guards that approach him. He climbs to the top of the vile statue, yelling “Death to the Yuan-ti!” and kicks off the head of the snake. As the vicious head falls to the ground, its fangs breaking off on impact with the earth, Yuan-ti soldiers swarm to the courtyard, allowing a not-too-subtle adventuring party to wander through the courtyard and up to the temple with ease. Fortunately for the group, the guards in front of the temple seem to have clamored towards the commotion in the courtyard. Unfortunately, though, as Dryug tries to open the temple door and get a view of the interior, the Yuan-ti’s miserable infrastructure gives the party away as the door’s rusty hinges and uneven edges scrape and grind out an alarum, calling to attention all the Yuan-ti militants within. Dryug pokes his head into the room and sees a number of snakes armed with greatswords and Fire Snakes. They see him as well, and the adventurers part with the shelter of Telmar’s tactical diversion.