Random Encounters
Ill Met on the River of Dreams
By Skip Williams

Join Us for Dinner

Several tributaries join the river just upstream of this section, making the river much broader and deeper than in the previous section, though its current is still slow. While the water here is cooler than that in the previous area, it is still fairly warm. The warm water here supports a riot of tropical growth along the river. Beds of tall reeds line the banks, and a narrow band of dense jungle lies beyond. Numerous small islands dot the diver here, and they, too, have tropical vegetation.

A village of yuan-ti has found this area a veritable oasis of warmth in an environment that otherwise would prove uncomfortably cold for them. The yuan-ti make their living fishing in the river, trading with the salamanders upstream, and waylaying any travelers that get past the salamanders. They have an appetite for humanoid flesh, and anyone they capture doesn't have long to live.

Anyone traversing this stretch of the river is likely to meet a few yuan-ti purebloods fishing. The purebloods do their best to pose as simple fisher folk trying to make an honest living. They promise that no harm will come to any visitor who does not start any trouble. If a group seems to fall for the ruse, the purebloods invite the party back to their encampment for a fish dinner. Should the PCs agree, they do indeed get a nice meal of freshly caught fish, but the yuan-ti attack just as the PCs finish eating.

If a group proves too wary to fall for the fish dinner ruse, or if they simply attack the yuan-ti, the purebloods either smile and wish the PCs a safe journey or do their best to flee, as appropriate. In either case, alert yuan-ti sentries note the group's presence and mass for an attack before the party can leave the area.

Yuan-ti Purebloods (6): hp 18 each, see Monster Manual, page 263.

Yuan-ti Halfbloods (2): hp 38 each, see Monster Manual, page 264.

Yuan-ti Abominations (2): hp 67 each, see Monster Manual, page 264.

In a fight, half the purebloods engage the party in melee while the other half keeps their distance and uses their bows and spell-like abilities (particularly entangle) for as long as they can do so. When damaged, the purebloods that begin the fight in melee try to leave melee and fall back to a point where they, too, can use their bows and spell-like abilities.

The abominations use their chameleon power to stay of out sight during the initial round of the fight. They maneuver into flanking positions, then attack using their aversion and produce acid powers. If possible, they locate the party's spellcasters and use their improved grab abilities against them.

The halfbloods also use their chameleon power to stay of out sight, but remain near the purebloods, so as to flank any foes that pursue any retreating purebloods or that break away from the main fight to menace the purebloods that are attacking from a distance. Once they choose to reveal themselves, they begin their attacks with suggestion and balefulpolymorph, then move in for melee attacks.

The yuan-ti have gathered a collection of ivory and fresh water pearls worth some 7,500 gp. This treasure lies hidden in the encampment where they attempt to ambush the party. If the PCs accompany the yuan-ti to the ambush site, they can recover the loot by examining the site and making a Search check (DC 15). If they do not accompany the yuan-ti to their encampment, they first must locate the camp, which requires two or three days of searching.

Bringing the Parts Together

If the PCs established friendly relations with the nagas from part 2, they might be forewarned about the yuan-ti. If the PCs fought with salamanders from part 3, it's possible that yuan-ti know the party is coming, especially if the group does not press on down river quickly. As noted in part 3, the salamanders and yuan-ti are nominal allies. Word of an attack on the salamanders might travel down the river through some sort of signal (perhaps a smoke signal or message sent via a flashing mirror) or perhaps the yuan-ti send one of their occasional trade missions up the river. Should the party bluff their way past the salamanders, the salamanders may detect the ruse, but allow the group to pass. In such a case, the salamanders signal their allies that "dinner" is coming, with their compliments.

The yuan-ti themselves are aware of the flooded city in part 5, and they occasionally visit the place to fish, hunt game, and search for ancient treasures. The yuan-ti might give the PCs some information about the place to help set them at ease. Likewise, any captured yuan-ti might offer to reveal some information about the city in return for its freedom.

Coming in Part 5 of Ill Met on the River of Dreams

What will the PCs discover in the flooded ruins?

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