James studies the room meticulously, all the usual spots, then the rare spots, then the impossible spots. He finds no pressure plates, no trip wires, no collapsing ceilings, no other forms of traps. Not a thing. Except - wait, that tome on the altar; there is a simple lock on it and by accident James' eye falls on the tiny needle hidden in the lock mechanism. No doubt a needle dipped in a potent poison!
When Gorir thinks about serpentine religions, his first thought is that there is a race of snake people called yuan-ti; a coldhearted folk revering the most ruthless aspects of snakes and reptiles. There are stories of a great but depraved yuan-ti kingdom in the distant past, and disguised yuan-ti trying to topple other societies in order to replace them with their serpentine way of life. As far as Gorir knows, however, those stories are mostly myths and are set in warm faraway places.
The other option he can think of is a cult devoted to some fiendish, snakelike evil, such as a marilith. The violent and chaotic nature of such a demon, however, seems at odds with the long term dealings the Baron has had with the mysterious Circle.