Mezyne

The Search for the Missing Rat Catcher

3rd Adventure

 

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The majority of the team has been suddenly afflicted with terrible nausea and vomiting, which began soon after Marchello started making moves on the Baron’s daughter.  Kolath and Lia, who were attempting to curb his unsavory behavior, seemed to get caught in the crossfire.  This left Voli and Cael as the only adventurers able to complete the task the Baron set before them: Find the missing ratcatcher!

 They make their way to the sewer entrance, which is a heavily fortified, barred trapdoor.  The guards unlock it, saying that they will seal it again if we don’t return within a day.  They see scratches and gnaw-marks in the metal and stone, which is much more damage than a normal rat could ever cause.  They make their way down the ladder into the sewer.

The tunnel has walkways on either side of a channel filled with scummer.  Both of the adventurers have darkvision, so are unhindered in the dimness.  They carefully make their way forward and peek around a corner.  They see a crude barricade made of junk, and can hear a conversation in a strange growling language neither recognizes.  It looks like three or four small creatures are behind the barricade.  Voli and Cael attempt to be stealthy, but Voli’s heavy chainmail clinks and alerts the creatures.  Seeing that the jig is up, Voli steps out from behind the corner, drawing her sword and striding forward.  The creatures (kobolds) chittered angrily, and fling stones from slings.  Cael pulls out his shortbow.  Voli attempts to kick the barricade aside, but gets her foot caught in the rotting wood.  The kobolds attack with slings and daggers.  Cael and Voli finish off the creatures and Voli frees herself from the barricade.  

They theorize that these hostile creatures must be what has killed the rat catcher, if he is dead.  They follow the sewer path, until they reach a place they must cross.  Cael nimbly dashes across a pipe stretching across the muck, but Voli just jumps across.  As they continue forward, they take the time to talk and get to know each other.  Cael is angry about a comment Voli had made earlier, calling him a ‘lady’.  Voli apologizes and says she was trying to be witty like how he and Marchello are, because it seems like they can easily make people laugh with quips and she wants to be friends.  They continue the discussion as four very large rats slowly approach from down the tunnel.  They note the approach of the rats, but continue their heart-to-heart.

Suddenly, mid-sentence, Cael nocks and arrow and fires at one of the rats!  It hits squarely, but the rat seems more angry than hurt.  The group of rats surges forward, while Cael draws his rapier and Voli draws her longsword.  The rats are quick and hard to hit.  They bite at legs and feet, drawing lots of blood.  Voli swings her sword to chop at one’s head, and slips on the wet stone.  Her sword flies from her hand into the brown muck.  Cursing, she pulls a handaxe from her belt.  Cael attempts to skewer one on the end of his rapier, but misses.  The sword tip sinks deep into the rotten wood of the crossbridge and sticks.  Both adventurers are red-faced with embarrassment and for the first time glad that none of the others were here.  Voli manages to hack two rats to pieces with her handaxe while protecting Cael with her shield.  Cael finally unsticks his rapier and makes a fine rat-kabob.  The adventurers drink some potions, reflecting how it was kind of funny that rats were a greater threat down here than the kobolds.  Voli grits her half-orc teeth and reaches into the muck to retrieve her longsword.  She wipes it off as best she can on the dead rats, wanting to vomit and vowing to cleanse herself of any possible disease once she’s out of here.  

They continue forward, with Cael sneaking down the tunnel, motioning to Voli when he was sure things were clear.  As they round a corner, they can see a body in the water at the far end of the tunnel, but no way to easily cross to the side the body is on.  It looks like they’ll have to follow the walkway around a corner to get on the other side.  They round the corner and try to move stealthily.  Across the channel is another opening, and a sling stone barely misses Voli as they cross in front of it, ringing loudly off the walls.  They hurry across a bridge, and they are now on the same side of the channel as the opening.  Cael peers around the entrance and takes a shot at a kobold he sees hiding behind the corner.  He’s not sure if he hits.  Voli and Cael decide to check out the body first, then come back.  They dash across the entryway and make their way to the body, floating face-down in the muck.  It is indeed the rat-catcher, and they can only hope he died before landing in the sewage, as they both agree drowning in shit is probably one of the worst ways to die.  

They double back towards the offshoot entrance and move forward.  The tunnel leads to an open cavernous room.  There are at least a dozen kobolds, lined up behind barricades with weapons drawn.  They all yell in their strange draconic language.  Cael and Voli wish they had someone with them who spoke draconic.  There were too many of the creatures to take on in a face-to-face fight.  Voli tries speaking to them in orcish.  From the back of the room, sitting on a throne made of junk and surrounded by loot, a winged kobold answers in broken common.  He asks why these two have come to his place, and why they are killing his people.  Cael attempts to convince them that he is a noble from McCarr.  They don’t believe him and they don’t care.  Voli accuses them of killing the rat catcher.  The kobold king denies it, saying that the rats killed him.  Voli doesn’t quite believe it, but acknowledges that the rats were large and dangerous enough to kill a man.  The kobolds insist that he was a drunk, and a horrible rat catcher.  The argument goes on in circles for a while, with the kobolds getting more and more angry.  

Voli, not wanting to risk fighting all of these creatures, uses her paladin spell Command, and orders the kobold king to flee.  He tries to run away, but there is nowhere to go in this chamber, so he scrabbles at the wall, shrieking and crying.  Voli shouts at the others that even their great leader is afraid of the two of them, and that the rest should not attack or else be crushed.  The leader regains some of his composure and offers a compromise.  They will stay in the sewer and hunt rats themselves, and even maintain the place.  In exchange, the city dwellers would not come down there, and they should probably keep small children away from sewer entrances.  Cael notices many shiny things in the king’s loot, and insists on tribute.  Voli doesn’t really want to take their money, but Cael insists.  The kobold king gives them a box filled with goodies to make them go away faster.  

Voli and Cael make their way back to the sewer entrance without any trouble.  When reporting to the Baron, they let him know that the catcher was killed by rats, but don’t mention the kobolds.  Voli fears that she would not be able to convince the Baron of the diplomatic agreement they had made, and any mention of monsters in the sewers would have him sending down soldiers to burn them out.  They instead try to convince him that they killed all the rats they found, so there won’t be a problem again for a long while.  The Baron says he will send to The Academy for another rat catcher.  He writes a fancy letter of recommendation and sends them off on a ship.  The others are still fairly ill, and the sea voyage doesn’t help.  

They finally arrive at the Garnet Isles, and set themselves up in an inn.  They locate Maculate and get an audience with Lord Bloodstone.  They present both the letter of recommendation and the request for a rat catcher, explaining the full situation with the kobolds and suggesting a rat catcher who is amenable to the situation.  Lord Bloodstone is slightly impressed with what they’ve done so far.  He is concerned with how the first ship was both hit by a storm and attacked, and would look into it.  

He moves on to our application.  In order to be certified adventurers they must complete a task.  Once the task is complete to the satisfaction of the guild, they would move on to the ‘Equipage’.  If they fail the task, they will be reevaluated.  The group has access to the guild stores, and prices are reasonable.  They have one week to prepare for the task.

In summation, a caravan of goods meant for the guild disappeared somewhere between Ashenbow and Coral Harbor.  The team is to find out what happened, locate any survivors, and gather information that could lead to the problem being solved.  The Academy will provide some supplies, including 6 healing potions apiece, a week of rations, and a bedroll and pack if someone doesn’t already have them.  There are no kid gloves here, and the team can’t be sure what kind of trouble they will find, so it’s best to prepare for a hard fight.  Good luck!

Comments

Huzzah! An enjoyable, and largely accurate, summation of the events. As the party has recovered from the mysterious malady which struck down Marcello, Kolathe and Leah, how does the party fare on this first true test for the Academy?

verdigrissc RattataShaman

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