Continuing the exploration of the rat tunnels, both Fogo and ISAC realized that the situation they were in was not normal. Fogo waxed on about how rats are normally communal and live in smaller burrows whereas these tunnels represented a more intelligent construction, such as goblins. ISAC add in about how the behavior of the rats have been odd, more like they were all being controlled and not operating like they would normally.
The party had a somewhat long discussion on what might be waiting for them further in. Some sort of super rat? Some other type of creature? It was unknown and the guesses were wild.
There was also some additional investigation on the dead body. It was an odd addition to the land fill above them. With Avery checking more closely about the features of the body, they discovered that the man had been somewhat well built, and calluses on his hands resembling a long life of holding pole like objects, could have been a how, shovel, or even spear. There was not enough evidence to determine which one it might have been. The level of the torture was somewhat severe, and they confirmed that he had died from the torture about five days ago.
The party was also able to determine that the body was not just dropped in the rat tunnels, but dragged here from outside, most likely by the rats or something else.
Continuing forward they finally met some of the Greater Giant Rats, or also known as Rodents of Unusual Size. Unlike their previous brethren, these were of medium size and were as large as a mastiff. These rats were fast, could take a lot of hits, and bit much harder than anything they had met so far.
At the same time as their encounter with the Greater Giant Rats, they met their first Rat Swarm. A nasty business of squirming crawling, and biting rats. Vladimir was quickly covered but with a lot of difficult shots from his party they were able to pick off the offending small rat members of the swarm. Vladimir did have a few new ear piercings though.
As they progressed further into the tunnels, they reached an area where the lichen had been removed and more freshly dug tunnels were discovered. The decrease of the lichen also reduced visibility for the party. They now only could see ten feet around themselves except for those with darkvision. The range that they could hear also increased to about 50 feet from the 20 it had been. This meant that they could hear rats or something else coming sooner, but then again, the rats could hear them much better as well.
They had already caused more than one encounter unexpectedly when Avery’s Dancing Lights went around a corner and illuminated areas that had rats and caused them to attack. Having it happen once was not sufficient, so they made the same mistake again. Eventually the wounds and tiredness caught up to them and they took a short rest. Not being as diligent with the bodies of the Greater Giant Rats, they were left where they had been killed last. Luckily, no other rats wandered by, and they were able to safely rest.
Trying to sneak into what would prove to be their last encounter, Avery made sure to alert the waiting Wererat with his Dancing Lights again. I am sure it was not on purpose, it being the third time after all. The Wererat was armored in “ratty” leather and dual armed with short swords. It leaped forward and was able to quickly take out Vladimir and started moving into the rest of the party quickly. Eventually it too was slain.
The last few rooms were rotting provisions, some gold, and three more dead bodies. Much like the other one that was found, these had been heavily tortured but with one primary difference. All their faces had been carefully carved off. One of the dead bodies had a small tattoo on his chest over his heart.
Among the treasure that were found was a map leading somewhere in the Dessarin Valley, as well as a small golden statue.
Using the long tunnel that led out, they finally were able to determine that they at the lowest point had gone underground over 80 feet. The winding tunnels and frequent changes of elevation confused them such they it was not clear how deep they really had gone until they had a clearer indicator such as the somewhat straight tunnel out.
The party was also able to see more clearly additional drag marks that were from the more newly found bodies have been dragged from the Middens somewhere.
They all then lingered around the cave entrance trying to decide what to do. There was discussion about bringing the dead Wererat body back, who had transformed back into his human form. After a lot of discussion, they decided that since there was not really an organized law enforcement agency in Amphail, they might just make more trouble for themselves by dragging dead bodies into town.
Figuring out that they all stunk of the Middens, rat shit, and exploded rat heads, courtesy of ISAC and his Mind Sliver spells, they decided to head to Hose Pond and wash off the most egregious noxious contents off themselves. Heading back to their room they took turns bathing and getting ready to rest in the soft beds.
There was a lot of heart-to-heart talk about some of their pasts and most of them opened. A short session to split up some cash, and then to bed for everyone.
And that is where the session ended.
Oddly enough everyone survived. This was a great milestone for everyone. Besides only being the third session, the group had managed to start working together and planning their actions better. The players began communication their actions to each other more and better. The rat warren served several purposes for the campaign, first of which was just this. Getting a new group of player to figure out how to work together and what combat looks like for everyone. I might have other reasons, but those are to be filled in sometime later.