Shadow of the Rat King

Karl and his entourage accompagnied us to the dungeon that day. He brought a Magic-User, [[Merlin?]] the magnificent, and his porter Niko. Still on a quest to infiltrate the Shadowforge-dwarves for the explorers’ guild.

Alissa made her will clear: to slay the Rat King, whose curse had given her this itchy fur and scratchy voice! Renal had been made unable to fully enjoy Elrath’s glorious light, while Norgot the Minotaur and [[Flavius?]] the noble were unscathed by the creature. They embarked for Koganusân.

They still wore their “Hill Dwarf” disguises and had with them bawling and cowering sheep, who they picked up from their temporary caretakers, the Koganusân Elves. The Elves also reported that the Rat King had been sighted at the Great Hall. The adventurers made haste to confront it.

The rats’ den was found and stormed. [[Norgoth?]] handled the door and many rats were slain. The Rat King tried to evacuate his court, but only managed to barely escape the party’s wrath himself! Again, they had changed. Norgoth now had incisor teeth and an accompagnying compulsion to gnaw things, very useful in battle! Alissa became even more hideous, and so did Flavius and Merlin! Hunter felt the urge to burrow into the bowels of the earth. Obler and Niko felt tougher.

Shadows in the deep

With their target skittering around Gods know where, Renal ordered further exploration. In a room to the south beyond the river, it was very dark. The light didn’t fully penetrate and a torch thrown into the room by Niko only revealed shadowy figures on the walls. Renal ordered the charge, Norgoth didn’t even await the order. The Shadows came from all sides and a wild, drawn out melee ensued.

Obler was struck a few times too often, his strenght was completely drained! Niko ineffectively threw torches into the room. Merlin obliterated a single shadow with his mystical Light spell. After a long fight, the undead shadows were defeated. Alissa euthanized poor Obler, who could not breathe anymore. His body didn’t have the strenght to inhale.

A shadowy hole beckoned. Unable to penetrate the unnatural darkness, many attempts were made to make out the source of the metallic clinging at the bottom. A brave sheep was the first to explore the hole but the party could not make sense of it’s reports. [[Flavius?]] volunteered to be put in head first into the cramped hole, to “feel it out”. He found platinum coins on the bottom!

A foray to the Beetle hole (yeah, Beetle hole!) was made. A giant beetle died bravely defending the depression. No arms were lost, but the beetle body-checking Norgot broke his ribs.

In the neighbouring room, a Lizardman had made his home. He was the spiritual kind it seemed, his room was filled with candles and he was sitting in a circle of light green powder. He claimed to know everything and more. His offer to cure the party of the Rat King’s curse if they caught and brought it to him was declined. After all, if the Rat King were to be slain the curse would disappear on its own, right?

The jewelry adorned Priest showed off his knowledge, mentioned unheard of places, but also some that were common knowledge. The island of Khorinis, the great cathedral of Ylath in the treasure realm and the Ice Keep in the Smooth Point of Pride.

In another room, there were chalk scribblings depicting impending doom scribbled on the walls and the floor. Alissa lying dead in a spiked pit, Renal being eaten alive by Giant Ants and two renditions of Flavius being ripped into pieces by a Troll or an Ogre. Take your pick. Now, even Renal had seen enough and the party prepared to leave.

Across the chasm

Almost at the exit, they ran into two Shadowforge-Dwarves. There was some confusion on both sides, but no hostilities ensued. Unlike last time the party had a dwarf, Melbil, with them and they established communications. The dark skinned dwarves saw through the party’s disguises, but they were not offended, Hill Dwarves are unliked hillbillies after all. The Empire of Shadowforge has reclaimed Koganusân by ancient dwarven right and to strenghten their position they were looking to hire mercenaries. The party was all up for that, though some mumbled about “evil dwarves”, and “around dwarves…”.

They were led over the chasm, being told to watch out for Giant Cave Spiders, but none showed up. The [[Inner_City?]] was full of collapsed passages. Apparently the dwarves had been exploring and didn’t always like what they found. The party quickly found out about the saying “Cave-in. The only way to be sure.” the dwarves had, both [[Kinmelbil?]] and Shadowforge.

Their guide, Bembul introduced them to the captain of the guard Someg Bronzesteadfast. Before he would allow the party to stay in the city proper, they would have to perform a job. A job beneath his fortress guard, but appropriate for Mercenaries: A fetch quest. A Shadowforge-Dwarf had stolen a newly created artifact of unknown power. The assignment was to find the dwarf, kill him and retrieve the artifact amulet

As a gesture of good faith, the injured Minotaur Norgot was allowed to stay. Also because the local chief medical dwarf was always looking for new anatomies to study. Renal ordered Melbil to also stay and learn about these dwarves. Lastly, the guard captain handed a red crystal to the party, saying it would allow them passage back.

Without further incident, the party returned to Passionhelm and concluded the expedition.

In depth: Ability score drain

Drained scores recover by 1 every week unless otherwise noted. You cannot go into the negatives. If a drain would bring you below 0 in any ability score, you stop at 0.

Strength: <3, groggy, wheezing, helpless if out of HP ; at 0, cannot breathe or attack. Begin performing CPR and never stop!

Dexterity: <3, slowed to half, don’t forget the -3 to AC ; at 0, Cannot attack + slowed

Constitution: <3, automatically fail every and all poison saves ; at 0, dead as a stone

Intelligence: <3, unable to speak coherently ; <0 Your mental processes slow to a crawl

Wisdom: <3, insane. Check the Insanity d20 table for ideas ; at 0, also insane but you must roll on the Insanity table every 3 days. Each consecutive roll adds +1 to the next. These afflictions may stay with you forever. Only a “Heal” miracle of the 5th circle can cure you of your insanity.

Charisma: No further consequences (don’t forget the reaction penalty), as ugly/rude you have become, you are punished enough. Retainers that exceed your new limit stay with you, but you cannot take on more until you dismiss the appropriate number.

Define external redirect: Inner City Merlin Norgoth Flavius Kinmelbil