The party gagged and bound their wererat prisoner and moved on to find the supposed “barracks” of his fellows. Down a corridor, they came to a pair of doors and a winding corridor. By signs, the prisoner indicated that a dozen were behind one door and seven behind the other. The party had no wish to face them all at once, so Havok cast silence on a coin as Parker picked the lock of the room with the larger group.
The wererat prisoner had been accurate in his count, though the party utterly surprised them and gained an early tactical advantage — they attacked to great effect before the wererats could even react. But the wererats rallied, and began to fight back, albeit in totally disorganized fashion. The surprise turned into a full melee. Early in the fight, I ban turned to observe the prisoner, and noticed that he was frantically working to escape his bonds, so the fighter slew him rather than let him escape. Meanwhile, the larger melee continued to go the party’s way, albeit with numerous wounds to them. All the wererats were dead within on a few minutes.
The party did not wait to plunder the room, but instead rushed to the next one while Havok’s silence held. This room was essentially a repeat of the last one, though with fewer wererats. Once these were dead, the party briefly debated if they should try the temple they knew was nearby or fall back, given the numerous wounds they’d received. They opted to go forward, again forgoing any search or plundering.
The third door they burst through led to a very different room. This one was high ceilinged, very large, and dominated by four columns which surrounded a crude statue of what appeared to be some sort of rat god. The party entered cautiously, but it appeared that the remaining wererats were aware of them, for they burst out of a door to the south and one across the room the east. The southern ratmen were actually three females and a larger male who moved with great rapidity. The eastern group were rat priests of some sort, as they threw hold person spells and a silence spell at the party. Rowan was held (and shortly after, Aldeberon, who was later freed with a dispel magic from Havok); Iban quickly dragged Rowan out, thinking the party might retreat, but they chose to fight instead, splitting to deal with the two groups of rats. Meanwhile, Parker began to shoot arrows at the priests to try to suppress spells.
Seeing this as a serious fight, Iban, clear of the silenced area, now winded the Horn of Vallhalla, sending four of his warriors to fight to the south and two to aid against the priests (of course, they could not injure the wererats as they had no silver or magic weapons). One of those priests was blinded by the Finger of Kavkaz wielded by Lune, but even blind it tried using a command spell, to no effect. Indeed, after those that were held, their spells proved largely ineffective. Soon, a pair of clearly lesser priests were slain and the chief suddenly vanished in a puff of gas which then drifted away – he’d clearly had enough and fled (the party briefly considered pursuit but decided against it). To the south, the three females were all slain and the chieftain, wounded near to death, finally threw down his arms and surrendered.
The new wererat prisoner was named Wrenthor. He denied any connection, or even knowledge, of the wererats (and werewolves) the party had fought previously. He only wished to run away, seemingly with no great regrets for his slain rat-wenches or the rest of the pack. When asked where he would go, he said out of the dungeon and as far away as he could get (he knew of the river cave entrance). Iban told him he cast a “spell against treachery” and, after taking his valuables, let the ratman go, and he ran off as fast as he could.
The party now commenced to a thorough plundering, as Havok demolished and desecrated the ratman shrine. They soon found a chest in the priests lair, hidden under a heavy floor stone. Parker went to try to detect traps and set off a glyph of warding that shocked her with a severe electrical jolt, nearly killing her instantly. Fortunately, there was sufficient life left in her for a death’s door spell from Havok. Fearing another glyph, someone (forgot who) risked it and indeed set off another glyph, this one of intense cold. However, there were no further traps, and a sizable treasure was recovered. This was followed by a thorough search of the area for secret doors and the like, but none were found. Much wearied and wounded, the party decided to return to the first wererat room to camp, as the room had two doors to allow for escape if trouble were to come in the night…
– Experience: 2255 XP each