Serpent's Skull is the seventh Pathfinder Adventure Path, set for release in August 2010 with Souls for Smuggler's Shiv. The six-part series will take adventurers from the Chelish colony of Sargava into the heart of the Mwangi Expanse and will prominently feature serpentfolk as a thematic enemy.
A deadly storm shipwrecks the passengers and crew of the Jenivere upon infamous Smuggler's Shiv, an island off the coast of the jungle realm of Sargava. If they’re to have any hope of escaping the notorious pirates’ graveyard, the survivors will need to band together to outwit the isle’s strange beasts and legendary menaces. But can the PCs unite the swift-to-squabble castaways, especially when several seem to have mysterious goals of their own? And does Smuggler's Shiv hide secrets even deadlier than its desperate denizens?
The heroes venture to the desperate capital of the failing jungle colony Sargava to supply for an overland journey to Saventh-Yhi, the lost Azlanti City of Seven Spears. There they become embroiled in intrigue with the Pathfinder Society, the Aspis Consortium merchant league, the Pirate Lords of the Shackle Isles, and the deadly Red Mantis assassins, rivals who also seek to plunder the lost city for their own purposes. Each group uses its unique tactics to pressure the heroes into an alliance, with Sargava’s leaders promising a huge reward to the explorers who can successfully discover and explore the ruined city. With enemy factions hot on their heels, tons of unexpected encounters, and a waiting tribe of monkey-men, will the heroes survive the Screaming Jungle to reach the lost city of Saventh-Yhi before it’s too late?
The heroes at last emerge from the trackless jungles of the Mwangi Expanse to discover the vine-choked lost city of Saventh-Yhi, ruined outpost of the ancient kingdom of Azlant. With seven spear-like monolith towers peaking above the verdant canopy and crumbling causeways echoing with the savage cries of unknown predators, the city promises untold wealth to those brave enough to claim it. But the heroes are not alone, for their allies and enemies among Sargava’s colonist government, the Pathfinder Society, the Aspis Consortium merchant league, the Pirate Lords of the Shackle Isles, and the mysterious assassins of the Red Mantis also have designs upon the treasures of the City of Seven Spears, and the race is on to plunder the riches of the city’s many adventure sites.
A strange swashbuckler rescued in the City of Seven Spears reveals the secret beneath Saventh-Yhi — a forgotten serpentfolk city called Ilmurea, inspiration for the superstitious native fears of a terrible evil lurking just underfoot. The heroes must accompany their new ally to rescue her captured companions in the city below, braving the trap-laden, monster-infested Vaults of Madness that stand between Saventh-Yhi and Ilmurea. But just as they venture forth, a new inhabitant takes up residence in the City of Seven Spears — the legendary Gorilla King himself!
The heroes explore the lost underground serpentfolk city of Ilmurea only to discover that it is not nearly as abandoned as they had thought. Feral descendants of the original Azlanti inhabitants of the surface City of Seven Spears have degenerated into subterranean morlocks, devolving into madness and evil over thousands of years. Malign creatures from throughout the Darklands flock to Ilmurea to prey upon these dwellers, and serpentfolk from around the world flock to Ilmurea, beckoned by the severed head of their slain ophidian god, Ydersius. A grim ritual, already in progress, will use the power of the Serpent’s Skull to restore the serpentfolk of Golarion to their true, terrible potential, instantly creating a new menace below all the nations of the world. A lost Pathfinder holds the key to disrupting the ritual, but before his plan can be executed he must first be rescued from his underground prison.
Returning from battles against serpentfolk in the underworld, the heroes must raise an army among the war-torn jungle ruins of Saventh-Yhi to annihilate the growing evils below. Yet raising such a force tests not just their diplomatic skills, but subjects them to brutal tests of courage and strength. With a savage army united, a path to the serpentfolk stronghold beneath the city must be opened, requiring the activation of an ancient device that drops seven of the city's massive towers to impale the accursed ruins below. As the warriors of the jungles do battle with legions of snakemen, the heroes make their way to the temple of the snake god Ydersius to face the serpentfolk's mad high priest and disrupt a ritual threatening to return the ancient evil god to terrible life.
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