Having determined the “Serpent Hold” is actually the lair of a band of slavers in Slaveport, the PCs decide to raid it; they construct a makeshift raft and sneak in the “backway”, as their contact, the rat-catcher Moctallen suggests. They encounter various shadow-guards, a monstrous Otyugh, and other shadowy creatures, including many snakes. They capture a prisoner, a drugged “follower” of the “Mistress”, wh relates that many slaves leave through the “backdoor”, and the boat takes a ten-day to make the round-trip to wherever they might be going.
Deeper into the Serpent Hold, the PCs encounter a shadow-gate, and “Markessa” and her shadow guards, who is captured. When she gives nothing of importance and it is revealed she is a slaver, a torturer and worse, she is slain and the corpse kept for future “interrogation”. Further in, they find various quarters for priests, and a large, sacked library. They also find a strange shrine to a serpent-goddess named “Explicitica Defilius”, that the PCs determine must be a Naga. The main entrance is found to be guarded by a shadowy female statue, various shattered holy vessels and relics that form into a shadow elemental when disturbed.
Interrogating their one prisoner, they find that there is a good chance that Brommik’s girlfriend, Passara Elventree and possibly Forgia, the street rat from Sentinel might have been recent prisoners sent by boat out into the wilds, to wherever they might go. A sense of urgency enters everyones thoughts, and plans are made to return to Sentinel as soon as the Hold is secured and determine the truth of these matters.
The Upper Levels are guarded by some automata, and a large meeting hall where the Captain of the Upper Halls, a Duergar/Troll half-breed rules forces a large combat, with many orcish thrall soldiers. Also, the Mysterious Slave Lord is discovered in one chamber, guarding a magic orb : The Serpent’s Eye. He, as usual, escapes. A large foundrry and forge with some slaves is uncovered, as well as a secret armory and treasure chamber. The Outer Court is abandoned, its orcish thrall soldiers having fled in the face of the PCs might and magics.
Claiming the Serpent Hold for themselves, the PCs invite the nearby Dawn Rocks to move into the facility and use it to protect their dependents, though they claim the lower levels of the site for themselves, warning of the dangers therein. Many of the slaves found in the Hold stay to help the Dawn Rock clan, especially since they have lost loved ones or have nowhere else to go.