Morning came early for our heroes in The Plump Pig
After deciding to select Thifal Magadukr as their battle leader, they journeyed after Giles Daleborn’s missing friends. The first forray lead to a dead end, but the party had been tracked by a Goblin raiding party. Hearing the clumsy hunters behind them, they set their own ambush and handled the goblin problem with aplomb.
The party also began to notice the Giles seemed especially jittery and nervous. On hearing that Thifal had seen a skeleton on the ground, he jumped and shouted out a warning. When Thifal explained that it was just a pile of bones, not an undead creature, he only sort of started to calm down. Thifal, calm as ever pocketed the 100gp ruby that lay underneath the old bones.
Then as they headed down towards the area Cece had marked garbage pits they also encountered and helped a member of the “Brotherhood” who sounded like he might have walked off any Occupy Wallstreet rally you ever saw. He was beat up, thirsty and hungry.
He told our heroes that there are other ways that lead into and out of the old city than what the man controls. He also warned them about what might come next, with rats, giant rats and even potentially giant man rats. Giles wanted to immediately turn him over to the authorities, and there was some dissension in the party on that count. Eventually they decided to just feed, bandage, and give him water. After that, they left Fred where he was. Giles continued to make snide remarks about him after they left.
They encountered a small nest of giant wolf spiders, but they were well equipped for this challenge, and killed all three of the spiders quickly and without incident. The coins scattered around helped the party’s treasure haul, adding 57gp, 129sp, 234cp, (4) 10gp gems, and a small gold ring (300gp).
The real rub came as they ventured deeper. As they turned the corner and Giles in the trailing position fell out of sight, he quit bringing up the rear. The party quickly noticed he was missing. They called out to him, but quickly came to the realization that this was a betrayal. And it was. Within a few seconds, the floor was alive with movement as thousands of rats poured down the passageway at our intrepid heroes.
Thifal and Lorran began to be eaten from the feet up. Nothing they did could beat back the tide of this living and devouring carpet of rats. Thifal desperately healed and drank what ended up being just shy of a six pack of healing potions, but the rats just kept coming. Giles called out that the rats should leave the females for later. That he needed them to breed more of his children. When Haloisi threatened to kill Lyra and wreck those plans, Giles laughed and shouted back that there were plenty more of their friends he could coerce to come down here. Abbie, Cece, Nisa, they were all potential breeding targets for him.
After a mishap with a net, and a couple close calls for Thifal and Lorran, the party beat back the rats. They debated their next move, eventually deciding to head back. However, a cave in collapse made that an untenable choice. They were stuck below and decided to press on as opposed to forming a defense there and attempting to rest.
They pressed on, with a solid plan for how to deal with the dire rats and rat swarms they would face. Things looked good until a rat-man appeared and seemed to direct the rats to also attack the females. The party was looking to try to make a fighting withdrawal, when Haloisi made an attempt to charm the rat through her magic. Successful, she had the were-rat withdraw his allies.
They continued in then, quite pleased and happy with the outcome. They began to discover the storage caches that the rats had gathered and restocked crossbow bolts and food from them. They then ordered the rats onto the cache and doused the whole thing with oil. Haloisi ended her pretense of friendship with the were-rat when she set the entire thing on fire.
The fire killed the dire rats, severely wounded the rat swarms, but was nearly ineffectual on the were-rat. As it stepped out of the fire into combat with Thifal, he dealt it a heavy blow and watched in horror as the magical damage resistance of the were-rat meant that even his nearly perfect blow had no effect.
Thifal fell shortly afterwards to a critical blow from the were-rat. Lorran went down next, felled as he attempted to quaff a healing potion. Just when things looked bleakest, Fred re-emerged from deeper in the complex and called to the party to quickly follow a hidden tunnel within a garbage pile. As the aghast party looked on, he pushed into the fray, telling the party “I owe the dwarf.”
A timely push from Haloisi to keep the were-rat off his feet and unable to make an opportunity attack combined with a surreal series of rolls from the were-rat allowed Fred to grab not only Thifal, but Lorran as well and barely (he had 2hp on emergence) escape the furious were-rat.
A quick break to force feed two more potions of healing and the group fled back to the surface using an entrance that Fred knew about.
They had never been happier to be in Abbie’s care in the tavern. At the end of the adventure, they discovered that they probably had taken out nearly 500gp, but had spent all of that in used healing potions. The real victory would be the xp of 1269xp each, enough to push them all to second level.