Why Did It Have To Be Rats?

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Log Info

  • Title: Why Did It Have To Be Rats?
  • Emitter: Karl
  • Characters: Adina, Arissa, Colrick, Seanait, Shaelyn, and Wilma
  • Summary: Under the guidance of a were-rat, rats raid the kitchen... or were they setting a trap? And if so, why?
  • APL: 3
  • Encounter 1: 4 dire rats, 1 rat swarm, CR 4
  • Encounter 2: 1 Rogue 4 / Fighter 1 Wererat, CR 5

The Bloodied Boar Tavern is exactly the sort of place that adventurers tend to linger in. There's a hearth with a minotaur's head mounted over the crackling heat of the fireplace, there's a seemingly eternally-shadowed corner where there's a hooded figure that could at any moment beckon someone over for a job, there's a serving wench that's a deep breath away from exploding the lacings of her corset, and the bar serves a seemingly endless amount of watered-down ale.

In other words, this is an adventurer bar. No doubt there's a fire here at least twice a week, and they pay a goblin a cheap fee to drag accidental bodies to the Vardamans out the back way. Therefore, when there's a sudden bellowing shout from the kitchen, it's not entirely surprising.

Arissa is a poor customer; she hasn't been buying much, instead speaking with paying customers, pursuing various topics... definitely not getting drunk (or even getting started on it in the slightest) and thus probably about to be asked to leave.

As a result of not being part of this place's regular clientelle, the shout concerns her. She starts to pace toward the back, calling out: "What was that? Is everything well?" Shaelyn is sitting on one of the tables, swigging from a mug of watered down ale as she chats with several other adventurers about their exploits. At the minute, a half ork is talking about the time he headbutted an ogre to death.

Seanait has been sitting at a solitary table, sipping a cup of hot tea. It is not the typical place to find a monk, but it is far harder to find proper tea here in this city. At the bellowing, she blinks, and looks over towards the kitchen with a hint of mild surprise.

Wilma is 'enjoying' the house special - ale that's probably half watered, and a stew that is thick only due to the fact it's been added to for the past week and a half - and of course, listening in to the tales being told over at the crowd of adventures. Until the shout, of course.

Colrick looks the part of the young optimistic adventurer, at least from his age, optimistic smile as he shares an ale with a few boasters at the bar, and relatively scar-free appearance. On the other hand, that military medal on his chest, coupled with the military standard rifle strapped to his back, suggests he's not new to the idea of something trying to kill/eat/destroy him. "... and then what? You don't just end a story with being lost in the Mythwood, covered in ..." he comments to the storyteller, but pauses at the shouting from the kitchen. "Eh wuts thats all about?"

Adina is working on keeping up her grasp of Yrch-tongue since the war ended, she's standing barside with a mug of ale that looks barely touched. Talking with the ruffians at the bar, she cast a sidelong glance towards the noise. Her shoulder shrugging, its like this all the time here.

The busty bar wench comes /darting/ out of the kitchen with a screech, scrambling up onto the bar and hiking her skirts up to the point that she's not hiding a gods-be-damned thing as she stares wide-eyed back the way she came. "They're back there-- they're back there! Oh, Althea bless, they've got the roast!"

The food is threatened. Uh oh.

Then there's /another/ shout from back there, a hoarse voice, "Help! Help, the-- the cook's gone after them!"

Arissa smiles; an odd reaction given just how alarmed the bearer of bad news is... and so many implications of what it could mean. It could be a trivial problem, it could be something big... but either way, Arissa looks amused. "Understood... leave it to me!"

And with that, Arissa begins to pace into the back of the tavern, into the kitchen area to see what exactly might be wrong. Seanait hrms and sets her tea aside, rising gracefully to her feet as she moves towards the back as well, not saying a word just yet as she nods towards the barmaid.

"... there's actually a roast back there? Well, we can't be lettin' /others/ get away with it..." Wilma agrees, before disagreeing with Arissa, as she goes to join Seanait to follow to the back also.

Shaelyn grunts. She's already paid for a portio of the roast, and she'll be damned if she'll let anything take it away from her at this point. She stands up, wobbles a bit, and then she steadies herself, grabs her axe and her shield from under the table, and trudges towards the kitchen.

Adina watches the motley crew begin towards the kitchen and the threat to the meat. She puts down her ale, "someone is going to need to keep them intact.." She can't put aside her priestly duties, reaching for a chain out of her pocket, placing her symbol of Dana around her neck as she follows.

Colrick does listen to the barmaid's words, but he is a guy; those eyes do dart downwards at the expansive reveal, at least for a little bit. "My bangers and mash won't be coming anytime soon if the cook's chasing after... they?" he comments with a shrug to the others at the bar. "Excuse me." he says as he hops off the barstool, and follows after the others. "Psst, skirt lower." he whispers to the barmaid as he passes.

The kitchen is a mess, although it's difficult to tell how much of a mess it /normally/ is. It's not exactly the most upscale tavern in the entire city, after all. Still, there's cutlery all over the floor and grease stains and chunks of meat trailed towards the gaping-open door to the wine cellar. Or -- cellar, anyway, since they don't have any actual wine on the menu.

There's a scruffy, skinny fellow that's standing near the door, shaking and pointing down the stairs, "They went that way! The cook chased them-- they were rats! Giant--giant rats!"

The barmaid, for her sake, flushes darkly at Colrick's whisper and crouches lower so her skirt covers more. As the group ducks into the kitchen, the orc that Adina was talking to is leaning over to offer a rather crude come-on in Yrchspeak. Well, she didn't know /those/ words before.

Arissa sees there is little to be deeply worried about. "Rats?" They're hardly the greatest fear of most adventurers, suffice to say. "Then this should only take a few minutes." Smugly confident, Arissa looks back to those following her... she's not about to object to that, and is even quite willing to let anyone go ahead of her if they wish; she paces toward the door and stairs regardless.

"If I were not a priestess.." Adina gives the Yrch a sharp look, she understood the come on, she doesn't complete the thought as she steels herself to face giant rats, "A blessing its not giant spiders." Shuddering from the memory.

"... rats? Well, it could be worse, I'm supposin'. Right - or like crabs." This time it's Wilma who's shuddering.

Shaelyn ponders. "I know a mean recipe for dire rat pie." she says, mostly thinking outload. She moves to take point and head down into the basement. She holds her shield at the ready.

Colrick unstraps his rifle and fetches a paper-wrapped cartridge to load it. "Might need that recipe; not fond of the idea of eating something that's been dragged down a cellar by a big rat." he comments with a chuckle. "I think this is more about rescuing the cook from getting a nasty bite. The food's a goner."

"He said he wasn't going to give the roast away to any vermin, he just-- went running after them with a cleaver! If we get it back I think we can salvage it, though. We've done worse." As the adventurers head down into the shower, the scruffy kitchen helper - or whatever he does, he could just be the corpse collector - follows gingerly after them, although he gives them a good lead, looking nervous as hell.

The stairs head down to the cellar, rows of wooden casks lining the walls except for one, that seems to've been sundered by digging from the other side. The wall's rocks are tumbled all over the floor, and there's a gaping opening into what looks like a sewer tunnel.

Seanait blinks, "Rats. How disappointing." She draws out her kama, holding it easily in one hand as she glances around the basement, "Ah. Another journey to the sewers."

".... right. I'm goin' back to the Ox Tavern. There at least I know I'm just eatin' dog..." Wilma grumbles. "... sewers? Taara's tits, this is gonna be annoyin'."

Arissa remarks to Shaelyn, "By all means, help yourself to such fare... I'm sure most of us will gladly give up our 'shares' of it." Then she smiles to Colrick, not smug but genuinely pleased by his choice of words. "Absolutely. He can't be far ahead of us, however... it will be fine." As the group nears the sewers, Arissa seems far less concerned... she makes a few soft chants in Celestial, air shimmering around her and then fading to normal. "It's nothing that a little cleaning can't deal with."

GAME: Arissa casts Prestidigitation.

Shaelyn frowns. "Always sewers." She complains, but she maintains her position at the head of the group, dwarven eyes quickly adapting to the dark. She keeps them peeled for any signs of the rats, or the crazy rat-hunting chef.

Adina takes a moment to string her bow, before they enter the sewers. "Where else do the rats go to grow giant sized but sewers.."

Shaelyn says, "Caves, crypts, warehouses, basements, laboritiories..."

"The Academy," Wilma throws in.

Fortunately for the adventurers, the passage appears to be one of the maintenance tunnels -- so they won't be wading through the muck directly. The smell of sewage lingers anyway in the air, if a bit weaker than in the outlet tunnels. It's not long down the passageway that a metal door is noticed to one side of the stoneworked tunnel, hanging open. A large drainage room is visible within, narrowing down to a grate, with pipes sticking into it from all directions. The stone is stained with dark lines from water spillage - and there's a figure collapsed atop the grate, a skinny man with a large, puffy white hat. A cleaver lays on the floor not far from his hand.

Seanait tilts her head, "I think that is our chef." She narrows her eyes, glancing around cautiously in case there's anything lurking in wait.

Colrick winces at the unsavoury scents wafting from the sewer entrance, yet onwards he goes as he follows the rest. "<something you don't understand in goblin-talk>" he curses under his breath, as he sees the poor fellow, as he cautiously approaches with his rifle lifted.

Arissa tries to jog over to the man, calm despite the sight. "There you are... are you well? It's one thing to take pride in your work, but chasing after losses needlessly... ...no matter. We can help you back to the kitchen if you'd like?" No caution at all, but why should there be? Nothing seems terribly amiss.

Shaelyn heads over towards the collapsed figure, axe and shield still held ready. When she gets nearer, she will look for signs of life. And possibly poke him.

"Great mother's blessings." Adina exclaims at the fallen figure of the man. She approaches cautiously, reaching for some herbs from her pocket and begins to check the man out.

"... I thought cooks were supposed to be bein' as fat as a cat next to a skinny rat..." Wilma grumbles as she stomps her way forward - though much slower than many, as she pulls her oversized weapon out from its place on her back, there to rest the naked blade on her armoured shoulder. "He pass out from so much runnin'?" she asks, idly.

GAME: Adina rolls heal: (3)+8: 11 You paged Adina with 'He is alive, unconscious. Big bump on the back of his head. :)' GAME: Arissa rolls Heal: (17)+7: 24 You paged Arissa with 'He's alive, just unconscious. Looks like someone hit him in the back of the head, hard. :)'

"He's not dead.." Adina seems relieved, crushing the herbs in her fingers and apply it to the back of the man's head, "But that knot on the back of his head, its going to smart when he comes too."

GAME: Shaelyn rolls perception: (15)+0: 15

Arissa kneels down nearby. "Unconscious... just as you said," a nod to Adina's assessment. Arissa's complete dismissal of there being any risk to this is now gone as she rises, backing off a step. "We should get him back quickly... we aren't alone. Unless he fell at a truly strange angle, other people did this to him. Not rats."


What was that? That was the /door/ to the drainage room suddenly closing rather sharply behind the party as they examine the unconscious cook.

You paged Shaelyn with 'It was the guy that followed you all down that closed it!'

<OOC> Seanait was keeping an eye out as well.

GAME: Seanait rolls Perception: (8)+12: 20 GAME: Shaelyn rolls perception: (10)+0: 10 You paged Seanait with 'It totally was the scruffy guy from the kitchen that just slammed the door!' GAME: Adina rolls perception: (3)+8: 11 GAME: Arissa rolls Perception: (12)+1: 13 GAME: Wilma rolls Perception: (6)+2: 8 GAME: Colrick rolls perception: (18)+5: 23 You paged (Seanait, Colrick) with 'There is a chittering and rustling... coming from the grate that the cook is laid on, and that all your healers are clustered around.'

"Lets clear the danger and then get him out.." Adina offers to the other woman, "Perhaps he'll come to before.." She silences as there is a bit of sound.

Colrick points his rifle at the grate and quickly backs away from it. "The rats are underneath it; quickly, drag him away from there." he urgently advises.

Seanait blinks at the noise, then nods at Colrick's words, drawing a pair of shuriken in her free hand and holding those at the ready.

Wilma spins to stare at the door, "What the... " as she heads towards the door to open it back up. Rats? There are rats? "Slap him awake, an' we can get goin' then."

Arissa looks over at Wilma, smiling as if about to scold a comically misbehaving child. "More blows to the head aren't a solution to being struck in the head..." Then Arissa tries to haul the cook away. With purely average strength for her size and vocation however... it may be slow going. Nonetheless, she heard the bit about how he's lying over a pack of nearby rats, and does want to get the cook away from that even as she looks over-shoulder to the closed door.

Adina aids in moving the man, still concerned about the noise, "Get the door open.."

Rats? Oh, yes... there are rats. The good news is, they aren't the giant rats that they were talking about from the kitchen. The bad news? There're dozens of them, boiling up from beneath the grate that the cook was laid out on, fur matted and disgusting from sewer waste and naked tails thrashing around eagerly. It's a good thing that Arissa just dragged the man away, because they look very... very hungry.

Shaelyn grunts, "That other guy closed the door on us. This is a trap." She informs the others, looking around. Surely any moment now the rats will be released, or the chamber will flood, or there will be spinning blades.

Shaelyn rolls initiative: Roll: 10 + Bonus: 3 = Total: 13 Arissa rolls initiative: Roll: 14 + Bonus: 2 = Total: 16 Wilma rolls initiative: Roll: 15 + Bonus: 1 = Total: 16 Colrick rolls initiative: Roll: 12 + Bonus: 5 = Total: 17 You roll initiative for Rats: Roll: 16 + Bonus: 6 = Total: 22 You roll initiative for DireRats: Roll: 15 + Bonus: 3 = Total: 18 Seanait rolls initiative: Roll: 20 + Bonus: 4 = Total: 24 Adina rolls initiative: Roll: 13 + Bonus: 4 = Total: 17

GAME: Seanait rolls 1d20+5: (12)+5: 17 GAME: Seanait rolls 1d20+5: (20)+5: 25 You paged Seanait with 'Two hits!' <OOC> Seanait sighs. Can't really crit a swarm, can you? <OOC> Karl says, "No crits on swarms, alas." GAME: Seanait rolls 1d2+1: (1)+1: 2 GAME: Seanait rolls 1d2+1: (2)+1: 3

Seanait reacts quickly, tossing the shuriken into the swarm of rats crawling out of the sewer grate, looking at the others, "We need that door open, quickly!" She then readies her kama, and if she could frown, she probably would be right now.

<OOC> Karl says, "The rats pursue the biggest meal--which at the moment happens to be Adina, Arissa, and the cook! It can only swarm over two of them, tho, so--" GAME: Karl rolls 1d3: (1): 1 <OOC> Karl says, "Adina gets off easy." GAME: Karl rolls 1d6: (5): 5 GAME: Karl rolls 1d6: (3): 3

GAME: Karl damaged Arissa for 3 points. 10 remaining. The tide of rats spill forward after their meal, tumbling over the cook's body and gnawing on his legs -- others scrambling up Arissa's legs, a few unpleasant bites left behind. Hungry, gnashing, filthy rats rolling onwards like living hunger. Then there's a horrid, louder squeaking from the edges of the room as from the drainage pipes crawl massive, bloated rats - four of them, each one the size of a halfling, fur matted and filthy, eyes gleaming black and hungry.

GAME: Colrick rolls rifle+1: aliased to weapon1+1: (9)+8+1: 18 GAME: Colrick rolls 1d10+1+2: (6)+1+2: 9

"The door?" Colrick mutters in confusion. "The door! Damn it all!" he exclaims, turning to head back. As he moves, he spots one of the aforementioned 'giant rats' begin to scurry from a pipe, and takes a crack at it with his rifle. The thunderous shot is nearly deafening in the tight quarters, something he instantly regrets, but at the very least the rodent is felled and he continues on his way. "I'll open the door!" he shouts, probably louder than needed, as he struggles to hear his own voice over the ringing in his ears.

GAME: Adina casts bless.

The swarm is too much for Adina, steps away from the rats near her as she begins to pray aloud to the earth mother. Grasping her holy symbol. A wash of holiness filling the room, filling everyone with Dana's blessing.

GAME: Arissa casts Magic Missile. GAME: Arissa rolls 1d4+1: (4)+1: 5

Arissa cries out as she's rushed, being bitten all over and stamping ineffectively at the rats with her feet. For all her derision earlier, this hurts and it could become lethal within a minute or less...

...And yet, pain gives way to a distant expression, Arissa's eyes suddenly glazing over as she hops away from the majority of the rats and begins swaying her hips, smiling. Her voice becomes very soft as she calls out in Celestial: "(As if I could fall to the lowest of the low?)" A shout follows that as she raises a hand overhead, swiping it downward and creating a gold-white energy ball. It flies into the swarm, scattering several of them!

GAME: Wilma rolls 1d20+9: (11)+9: 20 GAME: Wilma rolls 2d6+6: (10)+6: 16

Wilma, as Coldrick heads towards the door, turns back around. "There are rats!... And bigger rats. Damnit." Luckily, her greatsword is already drawn, even if she has the situational awareness of a drunk rat in an ale barrel. And, with the sight of the cook being left all along to the swarm, the storm dwarf sets her sword forward, and charges the cook! Alas, the evil desecrator of stews is saved by the number of rats who throw themselves onto her sword, sending blood and gore and tails to mix with the appetizing odor of the sewer fumes.

GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d20+8+2: (9)+8+2: 19 GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d10+3: (1)+3: 4

Shaelyn scowls, "Kill the big ones and thee swarm should dissipate!" She yells, and then charges towards the biggest of the rats, swinging her axe towards it. She cuts off the end of its tail.

GAME: Seanait rolls 1d20+7: (19)+7: 26 GAME: Seanait rolls 1d20+7: (10)+7: 17 GAME: Seanait rolls 1d6+1: (3)+1: 4 GAME: Seanait rolls 1d6+1: (2)+1: 3

Seanait twirls and slashes at one of the nearby dire rats with her kama, cutting it deeply as she hits twice with the weapon. She then eyes the surroundings, and says, "Status of the door?"

GAME: Karl rolls 1d6: (3): 3 GAME: Karl rolls 1d6: (1): 1 GAME: Karl damaged Wilma for 3 points. 22 remaining. GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+1: (1)+1: 2 GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+1: (8)+1: 9 GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+1: (15)+1: 16

GAME: Karl rolls 1d4: (4): 4 GAME: Karl damaged Arissa for 4 points. 6 remaining.

The drainage room is full of the squeaking and hissing of the rats - and the sounds of blades and spells on flesh and stone. The twisted mass of long-tailed rats continue to gnaw upon the cook, tugging little bites of flesh from his unconscious form, others squirming beneath Wilma's armour to get bites at her legs, little claws gripping. The larger rats hiss--lunging at Seanait and Shaelyn to no avail, the uninjured one leaps on Arissa's unprotected calf, nasty teeth digging painfully into her flesh.

GAME: Colrick rolls disable device: (7)+10: 17 You paged Colrick with 'Only way to open the door from this side? Remove the hinges. You can disassemble one of them this round, can possibly get the other next round. :)' From afar, Colrick has acid. Would that speed it up? You paged Colrick with 'That would probably slow it -down- actually. Since objects take half damage from elemental attacks. More expedient to disassemble it. :)' Colrick pages: Then I'll remove a hinge this turn :) need another check for it? You paged Colrick with 'Nope.'

Colrick doesn't answer Seanait right away, as he assesses the door. After trying the obvious route of pushing at it, and then some searching around its structure, he pulls some sharp tools from his pack and begins prying at a hinge. "Just need... a moment... to work these-" he begins, just as he pulls apart one of the hinges and sends its pin flying against the side wall. "Hinges off."

GAME: Adina rolls 1d8+3: (2)+3: 5 GAME: Karl damaged Arissa for -5 points. 11 remaining. GAME: Adina casts detect evil. <convert to CLW>

Seeing Arissa take more damage from the swarm of rats, Adina's prayers shift to proper healing. She lays a hand on Arissa's shoulder, Dana's blessing knitting wounds.

GAME: Arissa rolls 1d8+1: (6)+1: 7

Even as she's bitten by a single larger rat, Arissa just keeps smiling and swaying her hips about, eyes still glazed and distant... and adding to the routine by making a twirling jump away from the rat, closer to the swarm thereof. She smiles to Adina's assistance, voice returning to common tradespeak for a moment. "Thank you, but the one who really needs the help is..." She fetches a potion from her belt, brushing aside some rats to pour it down the cook's mouth.

GAME: Arissa used a Potion of Cure Light Wounds.

Wilma waits for Arissa to pour the potion down the cook's throat, then leans over and picks up the cook one-handed, shoving him over a shoulder. He flops in the boneless way of the unconcious, then looks at Arissa, "Get to the door, eh?" as she moves herself and the cook towards the door, even though it's not much.

GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d20+8-2: (2)+8+-2: 8 GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d20+8-2: (17)+8+-2: 23 GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d4+3: (4)+3: 7

Shaelyn swings the axe again, this time slamming into the ground next to it. Howeves, she then steps forwards, and brings the shield down on the creature's head, smashing it into the ground, and leeking its brains on the cobbles.

GAME: Seanait rolls 1d20+7: (6)+7: 13 GAME: Seanait rolls 1d20+7: (16)+7: 23 GAME: Seanait rolls 1d6+1: (2)+1: 3

Seanait quickly whips her kama around, burying the blade in the skull of the rat she's been dealing with, then she pulls it free and looks around at the others, seeing how they are faring.

GAME: Karl rolls 1d6: (6): 6 GAME: Karl damaged Arissa for 6 points. 5 remaining. GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+1: (11)+1: 12

Although between Arissa and Wilma's efforts, the cook's life has been saved, the sorceress pays the price in blood -- the thrashing mass of sewer rats swarming up around her, biting and clawing, tearing at flesh and fabric both in a frenzy. The only remaining dire rat lunges for Shaelyn, scrabbling at her boot but unable to get a good bite through it.

P-ting! The last hinge pin clatters on the stone. If that sound isn't heard, the louder clang of the metal door falling partially outward into the cellar is certainly more apt at drawing attention. Only thing preventing it from completely falling flat on the ground is the lock, but the opening is enough to get by. "Our way is clear! Let's move!" he shouts.

GAME: Adina casts protection from evil. <convert to CLW> GAME: Adina rolls 1d8+3: (1)+3: 4 GAME: Karl damaged Arissa for -4 points. 9 remaining.

Ignoring Arissa's words, Adina steps in and helps to knit the sorceresses wounds. Prayers to the earth mother.

GAME: Arissa casts Magic Missile. GAME: Arissa rolls 1d4+1: (3)+1: 4

Arissa laughs softly at Wilma's suggestion. "Normally I would ask why, as we're so...!" She's cut off by dozens of bites, voice returning to Celestial as Adina infuses her with positive energy, some wounds closing. A wink and "(Thank you,)" are given, then she sprints past the doorway with dagger in-hand, twirls around to face the rats once more... and thrusts her free palm at them, conjuring another gold-white magic sphere and scattering several more of the swarm. Wilma is torn, for a brief moment as the rats dig into Arissa's words. However, the cook groans and that reminds her to her current duty. Grumbling about bony-assed cooks and rats out for revenge, the overly-wide dwarf heads for the door, "Move it!"

GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d20+8-2: (2)+8+-2: 8 GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d20+8-2: (13)+8+-2: 19 GAME: Shaelyn rolls 1d4+3: (1)+3: 4

Shaelyn acks when she discovers a giant rat gnawing on her boot, and she smacks it with her shield, seperating the creature from herself and sending it lamming into the ground.

GAME: Seanait rolls 1d20+10: (18)+10: 28 GAME: Seanait rolls 1d6+1: (6)+1: 7

Seanait moves quickly to the last dire rat, and deftly slices the back of its neck, killing it rapidly as she looks over at the open door, "Let's get out of here!"

GAME: Karl rolls 1d6: (5): 5 GAME: Karl damaged Shaelyn for 5 points. 38 remaining.

It's like the remaining rats are in a blood frenzy; surging up and over the corpses of rats near Shaelyn's feet and squirming up under armour and beneath metal plates, biting and tearing in a desperate frenzy. The corpses disappear in short order, almost boned.

Colrick moves past the door, one hand grasping the edge of it so he can quickly slam it shut; the other hand pulls a vial of fiery liquid from his pack and readies to toss it in. "Ladies! Time for an exit!" he calls out.

Adina doesn't hesitate when told to move, after all rat's are Dana's creatures as well, no need to kill all of the,

GAME: Arissa casts Ray of Frost. GAME: Arissa rolls 1d20+4: (19)+4: 23 GAME: Arissa rolls 1d3: (1): 1

Arissa on the other hand seems quite inclined to be a rat exterminator... still twirling about, still smiling, even as she points a finger at the rat swarm and pegs a few of them with a thin beam of cold, stopping them in an instant even as Arissa hops back from the doorway a little; as swept up as she is in her magic, she at least has the sense to not interfere with others trying to get to safety.

Shaelyn acks as rats scramble inside her armor, and she jogs towards the door. She reaches back, grabbing a rat by the tail from her armor and tossing it to the ground as she goes. She barrels through the door.

Seanait sprints rapidly for the door, leaping over some of the others as she seeks to get clear before things get very explosive in the room. That vial of viscous fluid is hurled at the ground in front of the door, shattering and splattering everywhere on the ground before erupting into flames. And then with a loud clang he slams the door shut, holding his body against it since the hinges no longer support it. "Uh... I'll need some help to... improvise a way to keep this door shut." he says a moment later. "Going back for the hinge pins isn't really an option."

A horrific squealing and the scent of burning rat-flesh comes from behind the door, the scuttling and hissing finally beginning to die down... and soon, nothing but the fading crackle of alchemical fires.

The party is left alone in the corridor outside the drainage room, which seems to be clear. The cook's breathing and seems stable. The roast must be long gone, though. No more soup today.

Wilma takes a moment to put Cookie on the floor. Sorta gently, sorta, before moving away from the door to look around. "We'll need something to be barracadin' it, I'm thinkin'."

Arissa's eyes return to their normal depth shortly after the door is shut. She's still smiling, but it's notably reduced as she looks herself over. "At the very worst, we could find barrels and the like... I'm sure the tavern has some of those. The real question is if it will have answers, as to who thought to seal us in and why."

GAME: Colrick rolls knowledge/engineering: (5)+7: 12

Shaelyn backs up against the door, and holds it. "Go get something to block the door, I'll hold it shut for now." She informs them then. And then she kicks away a rat which drops out of her britches.

Seanait frowns, "And who exactly would lock us in like that..." She looks decidedly perturbed at the thought.

"Someone who wasn't likin' the menu of the day?" Wilma offers with a rather grumpy look at the unconcious cook.

Shaelyn grunts, "Someone followed us down here." She informs the others. "Maybe the assistant. Might have been a setup."

Colrick leaves Shaelyn to prop up the door, as he begins looking around for anything that might help. However he seems to have given up after sorting through the debris nearby. At Shaelyn's words he nods. "Yeah... who was he exactly?" he pipes up.

Adina looks about for anything besides a fellow member of the party to hold the door, "How was it locked before?" She asks the man who got it open. The door is still locked, technically. It's a heavy bolting mechanism controlled from the outside. "... does it really even matter? Let's get the would-be cook back to the tavern, then go an' find a place that cooks /real/ meat. An' serves strong enough ale to be puttin' hair on your chest," Wilma complain-suggests.

Colrick points at the two hinges which were supporting the metal door before, but the pins were removed. "Just needs replacement pins, really. Or something heavy to prop it up and keep it shut for now." he recommends. "But... well... let's head upstairs, see if we can get part solved."

Seanait nods, "Indeed so, let's get this resolved quickly, before any other surprises occur."

Arissa offers her own theory, incredulous. "'Set up'? By someone employing so many rats? They make terrible assassins. I suspect it was the action of someone afraid that the rats would return to the kitchen if not sealed away, and they were not over-much worried about us..."

It isn't a very long march back to the cellar; the shattered rubble of the wall still in sight, a few smaller but less-aggressive rats spotted along the way, scuttling out of the way of the adventurers. Enough to make one nervous, but nothing like the horrors of rodentia that assaulted them earlier. The cellar's empty, just the kegs all lined up and the mess that the destroyed wall made.

<OOC> Karl says, "Perception rolls." GAME: Wilma rolls perception: (20)+2: 22 GAME: Adina rolls perception: (11)+8: 19 GAME: Colrick rolls perception: (12)+5: 17 GAME: Arissa rolls Perception: (3)+1: 4 GAME: Seanait rolls perception: (12)+12: 24 GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+11: (3)+11: 14

...well, almost empty. There is the slick-furred yet bipedal figure that's clinging to the ceiling just over the door, dropping down with a very /rodent/-like hiss into the midst of the group as they enter. Half human, half rodent, a moon-touched horror with claws flashing in the dim light of the cellar.

<OOC> Karl says, "Init for surprise round. Everyone but Arissa gets to act. (Sorry!)"

Arissa rolls initiative: Roll: 12 + Bonus: 2 = Total: 14 Wilma rolls initiative: Roll: 20 + Bonus: 1 = Total: 21 You roll initiative for Wererat: Roll: 15 + Bonus: 8 = Total: 23 Adina rolls initiative: Roll: 1 + Bonus: 4 = Total: 5 Seanait rolls initiative: Roll: 3 + Bonus: 4 = Total: 7 Colrick rolls initiative: Roll: 16 + Bonus: 5 = Total: 21

GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+8: (9)+8: 17 GAME: Karl rolls 1d6+3: (5)+3: 8 GAME: Karl damaged Adina for 3 points. 26 remaining. GAME: Karl rolls 2d6: (3): 3 GAME: Karl damaged Adina for 3 points. 23 remaining.

"Y-you should have-have fed my friends," the lycanthrope chitters out in a dire hiss of breath, claws slashing down across Adina's arm, "I won't-won't be as easy-easy on you!"

Colrick works the bolt on his rifle, ejecting the ashen remains of the old paper cartridge and smoothly loading a new one in. All the while his eyes are on the beast, wide-eyed and nervous, having never faced such a thing before.

GAME: Wilma rolls 1d20+8: (2)+8: 10

Arissa jolts in surprise as a creature falls in amongst them, staring at it for a few seconds and deciding what to do about it. In the end, she apparently decides that rhythmically swaying her hips around while staring at the creature with glazed-over eyes and a smile is the best course of action. She doesn't even say anything back to it as it speaks, just... smiling and swaying.

This is probably not the wisest choice.

".... why don't you be explainin' how his rats suck, Arissa?" Wilma offers over her shoulder, as she swings the sword from her side towards the rat-man. Alas, her second hand is late to guiding the strike, and she misses. "Damnit!"

GAME: Seanait rolls 1d20+6: (2)+6: 8

Seanait swings her kama out in an arc, but misses by quite a bit, as if surprised to see a walking talking and apparently pissed off ratman.

GAME: Adina rolls 1d20+7: (19)+7: 26 GAME: Adina rolls 1d6+1: (4)+1: 5

"You foul thing.." Adina steps away from the lycanthrope, calling forth energies from the air itself, her fingers spark, arcing a burst of energy at the wererat. The scent of singed hair unpleasant, even down in the sewers.

GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+8: (14)+8: 22 GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+8: (19)+8: 27 GAME: Karl rolls 1d6+3: (2)+3: 5 GAME: Karl rolls 1d6+3: (1)+3: 4 GAME: Karl damaged Adina for 9 points. 14 remaining.

A pained /shriek/ erupts from the were-rat's throat, and it lunges after Adina as she moves back--all but leaping upon her, claws raking downwards across her torso, digging into blood and flesh as he hisses out, "Foul? I'll show you foul, when you're whimpering at my feet begging me to infect you, priestess!"

GAME: Colrick rolls rifle+1-4: aliased to weapon1+1-4: (3)+8+1+-4: 8

Bang! This time the gunshot is a lot less deafening in the current surroundings. Unfortunately it ricochets off a far wall before embedding into stone, having gone wide. Colrick feverishly works to load another shot, but is obviously having trouble with aiming into the frantic melee.

GAME: Wilma rolls 1d20+8: (12)+8: 20 GAME: Wilma rolls 2d6+4: (5)+4: 9

"Hey, Mouseie! Pay attention! Your mama was a catnip toy, an' your da was snake-food!" Okay, so as insults go, they lack a certain amount of cussing... but it's a were-rat. Maybe she should try to step on him? Wilma, that is. Wilma, who is hitting him with her sword. Really.

GAME: Arissa casts Magic Missile. GAME: Arissa rolls 1d4+1: (2)+1: 3

"Sorry," Arissa pipes up to the creature threatening them, and her tone drips with wry amusement; she's not apologetic at all. "But I haven't been watching over a survivor of Versis just to let you lay her low!" Starting to twirl in place, Arissa at some point in her routine thrusts an open palm at the creature... and as before, this creates a gold-white ball of energy that flies forth, whipping around allies harmlessly and smashing into the twisted being before them.

GAME: Seanait rolls 1d20+6: (11)+6: 17 GAME: Seanait rolls 1d20+6: (9)+6: 15 GAME: Seanait rolls 1d6+1: (3)+1: 4

Seanait swings her kama in an arc, the blade seeming to have no effect on the wererat, as the monk calmly notes, "No, means no."

"The goddess will protect us.." Adina replies, her faith fully intact as she moves away from the wererat.

GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+8: (19)+8: 27 GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+8: (1)+8: 9 GAME: Karl rolls 1d6+3: (2)+3: 5 GAME: Karl damaged Wilma for 5 points. 17 remaining.

The sudden barrage of spells and blades that strike the were-rat's flesh bring from it a snarl--distracting it long enough for Adina to slip away from his bloodied assault. One claw sweeps out to carve across Wilma's arm in a painful rent, "You can't harm me, fools! The Great Beast has made me immortal!"

Well, maybe not so much, since he's /bleeding/ now.

GAME: Colrick rolls rifle+1-4: aliased to weapon1+1-4: (18)+8+1+-4: 23 GAME: Colrick rolls 1d10+1+2: (6)+1+2: 9

"If it bleeds, it can die." Colrick states as he levels his rifle for another shot, this time striking true into the shaperchanger's hide, wounding it.

GAME: Wilma rolls 1d20+10: (5)+10: 15

"Naw, he just made you flea-bait," Wilma taunts as she moves to flank with Seanait, swinging for the rat - and missing him totally - even his tail! "Maybe immortal food for a cat?"

GAME: Arissa casts Magic Missile. GAME: Arissa rolls 1d4+1: (4)+1: 5

Arissa continues to dance about in a small area, laughing softly as the group is taunted. "How silly... placing your faith in something so falliable? You should make your peace with the world now." Then another palm-swipe at the air between herself and the beast, another gold-white sphere... a perfect shot to its face, though it remains upright!

GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+8: (7)+8: 15 GAME: Seanait rolls 1d20+7: (19)+7: 26 GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+7: (13)+7: 20

Seanait nimbly ducks under the wererat's arm, "Well, if my weapons can't hurt you..." She suddenly grabs the arm, and twists it around in a manner that is rather painful looking, "Perhaps I can just hold you still long enough for the others to deal with you, hmm?"

GAME: Adina rolls 1d20+7: (18)+7: 25 GAME: Adina rolls 1d6+1: (4)+1: 5

Our of harms way, Adina once more calls on the goddess to light the spark within, sending another arc of electricy at the wererat. The smell of singed fur seems to fill the room, the priestess coughs a bit.

GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+7: (9)+7: 16 GAME: Seanait rolls 1d20+7: (17)+7: 24

"Let go! Let go, bitch! I'll pluck your feathers and make a nest of them for my young!" The were-rat thrashes and struggles in Seanait's grasp, but gets absolutely nowhere-- the arm-lock unbroken.

GAME: Colrick rolls bayonet: aliased to weapon3: (13)+3: 16 GAME: Colrick rolls 1d6+1d6+2: (4)+(4)+2: 10

Colrick brings the smoking end of his gun to bear upon the were-rat, for the smoking end is attached to a long blade. It finds a soft spot to slide into, sinking into its flesh. "Good job, keep him still while we finish him off." he says to Seanait.

GAME: Wilma rolls 1d20+10: (3)+10: 13

The sight of the wererat being grappled throws Wilma off her game. Pulling her swing at the last moment, she pulls too much - and misses.

GAME: Arissa casts Magic Missile. GAME: Arissa rolls 1d4+1: (2)+1: 3

Arissa keeps bopping about, giggling. "What happened to your vaunted immortality? Do you still rail and rage even as you face defeat?" Another magic-sphere, another modest wound adding to so many others...

GAME: Seanait rolls 1d20+7: (18)+7: 25 GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+7: (15)+7: 22

Seanait looks disdainfully at the wererat, "For all your power, you lack discipline." She suddenly sweeps her leg around, sending the wererat to the floor face-first, and she falls on top of him, still holding his arm in a very uncomfortable position while her foot talon rests on the back of his head.

GAME: Adina rolls 1d20+7: (9)+7: 16 GAME: Adina rolls 1d6+1: (6)+1: 7

Who knew Dana granted her priests such vengeance, Adina prayers bring sparks. Stretching the distance to the wererat on the floor. Skin scorched.

GAME: Karl rolls 1d20+7: (10)+7: 17 GAME: Seanait rolls 1d20+7: (17)+7: 24

A pained grunt, the were-rat thrashing and twisting, "--ng--bird-bitch! Release--me!"

GAME: Colrick rolls rifle+1-4: aliased to weapon1+1-4: (13)+8+1+-4: 18 GAME: Colrick rolls 1d10+1+2+1d6: (4)+1+2+(4): 11

"Release? Not the term you wanted." Colrick mutters in disgust at the creature before him, as he loads his rifle and aims at the struggling were-rat, sending another bullet into its oily hide.

GAME: Wilma rolls 1d20+10: (19)+10: 29 GAME: Wilma rolls 1d20+10: (6)+10: 16 GAME: Wilma rolls 4d6+8: (16)+8: 24

"Why do that?" Wilma continues to bait the rat, this time swinging with strength /and/ precision, "We're just gettin' rollin' on this," as she sends the head flying. Unfortunately, there's some bloodspray when that happens.

Arissa's eyes return to normal as Wilma spectacularly finishes off the creature... and then Arissa is hit by some of the blood. She winces, then calms down quickly as she invokes magic to lift it off her and her attire, easily cleaning the blood away. And once done with that, she makes a curtsy gesture to the group and their fallen foe, still smiling. "I suspect we've found our answer. Is everyone well?"

Colrick literally hops backwards a few steps as that fatal blow is landed, and the gory spray is emitted. "Gah!" he exclaims, having avoided most of it, save some on his boots and pant legs. "Tonight... I'll just have the soup and bread, I think." he states.

"If you can eat after that.." Adina looks green at the gills from the blood. "We have to make certain his disease is not spread further.."

Seanait does finally release the arm, now that the wererat is minus one head, and says simply, "One should also have better manners if one wishes to be released." She almost seems to smile, then, as she looks at the others, "Indeed. A vile abomination."

".... ale. Lots an' lots of ale. ... see any barrels down here? We could be takin' one up a'fore they water it," Wilma votes.

The were-rat lies still--dead, unmoving, defeated by the intrepid adventurers, although plenty of their blood stains the floor of cellar and sewer both. Still, questions linger...

...but so does ale. One expects most of them need a drink.