Dungeons and Bookworms

Rat Queen

Third Session

Backstory: Erremielbard halfling, was raised by the family that took her from her home to be a bard and a spy. She was sent to write a heroic ballad about the reunion of the royal family, but in the confusion of the parade, she jumped down into the sewer to avoid being trampled by the fleeing crowds and got lost. She encountered multiple giant rats, and was victorious over all of them! She formed a necklace from their tails and resigned herself to being queen of the sewers until…

The party enters the sewers (which lead out of the city) through the secret escape entrance in the King’s Chambers. Because the group was not expecting to leave the city immediately, they need to retrieve their items from the inn. Greilin, who is accompanying Lady Trevino, volunteers to do this service while he is escorting the librarian to get her reference materials. Being the most inconspicuous of the party, they will pick up supplies and horses and meet the rest of the group outside the city.

The group advances into the dark maze that is the sewer system. There is a faint light, and a slightly stronger smell. Lyssin lights a torch to provide the group a path. They hear a soft song in the distance. They stealthily investigate. The discover Erremiel sitting on her throne of dead rats singing softly to herself. She jumps out merrily to greet them.

She is familiar with some in the group, namely Aramand, whom she spent the evening getting hammered with the night before the parade.

Suddenly, 3 giant dire rats swarm the party attempting to reach Erremiel in an effort to seek revenge against her slaying of their comrades. Everyone moves to defeat the rats, using fire and songs about burning rats. They succeed, but the rat slaying bard seems to have some trouble against these larger foes. In a last ditch effort, she attempts to use diplomacy on the final rat, and is so convincing in her song and plea that the rat falls in love with her and becomes her steed/pet. She promptly names him Nicodemus.

The group is very impressed with the bard’s rat charming powers. They (and the GM) are even more impressed by the song of her travels and travails that the bard performs extemporaneously for them. She joins the party to try and help them find their way out of the sewer. She doesn’t know where she’s going either, but the group follows her willingly.

The intrepid rat slayers/charmers head south. Val uses his nose to find a safe path, and Lyssin discovers a wire that runs down the south tunnel. She determines that it is a magic trap of some sorts. The prince informs the group that it could be part of the royal defenses, since this was a family escaped route. The princess volunteers to go down the tunnel first. Nicodemus goes with her. As they travel down the tunnel, the wire flairs gold, and a gold line continues forward, leading the party towards the hopeful exit.

Following the line, they come to a seeming dead end at a pool of water. The gold line continues to the left above the pool of water. The water is swirling, but slowly. There is a hidden drain somewhere, and the bottom of the pool can’t be seen. Val tries to sound out the bottom with his quarter staff, but still can’t hit the bottom. The group suspects a trap, but tries to convince the prince and princess to step in the pool to see if it drains. Lyssin sees a black wire next to the gold wire that travels down to the bottom of the pool. Necrotic magic seems to be emanating from both. The prince volunteers and swims through the water to where the wires are. He takes hold of the black wire and the water swirls quicker and drains away. The prince holds on to the side to avoid being flushed. As that happens, white shapes start becoming visible in the water. Steps leading down 12 feet appear, and with the final water disappearing, three skeletons are fully relieved.

Other than the skeletons, the side tunnel with the gold wire leading off into it is clear, but 8 feet above the ground.

Lyssin and Armand examine the corpses for treasure. As soon as Lyssin reaches the floor, one of the skeletons pulls its sword up and makes a surprise attack on her. The group handily defeat the undead, but then it’s a show off between Armand and Lyssin to see who gets to the loot quicker.

The challenge was then to get everyone through the tunnel 8 feet up. Luckily, sorcerer Val has a rope! Lyssin is lifted up into the tunnel with the rope; she secures it to a nearby grate, allowing everyone else to climb up. This tunnel is smaller, requiring most of the party to crawl. There is math utilized to make sure the rope can still reach people, and someone gives a rat a boost.

Another crossroads, and still following the gold thread. They finally come to a set of stairs leading upwards ending in a locked door. Lyssin (aka “The Worst Thief Ever”) actually manages to pick the lock with a goose quill, but the door remains stuck- it’s blocked by something on the other side. The stronger members of the party attempt to push the door open. It budges a bit to show that the outside of the door is covered with vines. Val freezes the vines, weakening them and allowing the others to attack them. They can now see beyond the vines to the outside, where a few buildings are located beyond the city wall.

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