1231, Spring – Rats in the Sewers

We are back to our Ars Magica saga, investigating what happened to the rats that left the magical city we discovered beneath our covenant. After the magi had investigated the city, we had sent out our companions and grogs to search for the horde of rats which had fled from it.

During the session, the question came up about whether my companion Jack had had any more children, so a quick roll was made. Apparently his wife Rhona had given birth to a son at the start of the year.

We also had a fight, and for the first time I think in this campaign, Jack was actually attacked by someone wielding a metal weapon – previously all attackers have used wood, stone, bare fists or teeth. When asked for my soak – my reply of ‘infinite’ surprised some of the other players. At last my major virtue of Greater Immunity (iron) has come into play. Possibly a gift from Jack’s father, though he isn’t entirely certain how true the stories his mother told him about his father were.

Jack – Spring, 1231

There have been a number of muggings down near the docks in the last few days, plus some people have gone missing. A few upstanding people have also gone missing from the surrounding area, including someone who said they were going down to the harbour to find out what was going on.

People are now trying to avoid the place until the town guard sort out the problem, though this is probably going to be a while.

We are now at the entrance to the sewer, where the ratcatcher thinks people have vanished into. Aodhan has joined us by now as well, carrying two buckets of rat poison soaked grain dangling from a yoke, and wearing oversized gloves and boots.

There is an attractive woman standing near the sewers wringing her hands and looking generally upset. I ask her if she is okay. She says her son went into the tunnels look for a lost heirloom for which there is a reward. Apparently a noble lost their buckle. Her son was tall and blonde haired (much unlike most people around here), and he had a dagger.

She recognises Greysen as the famous bard.

By now it’s getting close to noon, so we head into the tunnel. There is an unpleasant stench in here, but it’s not too bad. At least it isn’t summer. However, it is dark, so we need to light a lantern and hope we don’t encounter any pooling gases. I go ahead carrying the lantern and with my sword ready.

There is plenty of muck in the tunnel, though it tends to get flushed out by the tide. We find a human thigh bone, but ignore it and continue on. The tunnel goes up, but then splits to the let and right ahead of us. I decide to go straight ahead, but Knox points out markings along the right hand package where it looks like something has moved through. So we go right.

We spot some light filtering from above from drains, and there are some more markings along the side walls. As the tunnel bends around, there is a body laying on the ground at the end of the tunnel. It looks to be the corpse of some young blonde man. Part of his face is missing, and there is a long dagger laying next to him.  He seems to have some stab wounds in his torso, and more parts of his body has been gnawed at. I take the dagger, but there is no sign of a fancy belt buckle.

Aodhan takes a closer look at the body, and finds what looks like some type of discoloured sting on his finger, as if he’s been stung by poison. Knox and I take the body back to the woman, who is understandably upset. We arrange for an undertaker to deal with the body, then head back to the tunnels.

This time we go straight, where there are similar scrape marks along the wall. As we approach another junction, two guys leap out of a tunnel to the left. They were obviously trying to ambush us, but fails. They are wearing rags and have covered their faces in mud, or worse. They both have daggers.

Greysen steps in and stabs one, putting one down, but the other one stabs at me. Slightly off balanced by the lantern, and the slippery ground, I’m unable to dodge and he stabs me with the dagger. It goes through the armour, but doesn’t harm me. From behind, Aodhan is shouting some prayer or something, and I run through the second guy with my sword.

I kill one of them, but the others want to question the other one.

He seems delirious, which isn’t that surprising. He says his stash is down the left most passage, that there are two more people there waiting. He falls unconscious, so we leave him where he is.

Aodhan noticed that there were rat bites on him – just small nips around the neck area. His teeth and ears also looked a bit pointy. Deciding that he isn’t entirely human, and therefore probably dangerous, I decide to finish him off.

We head onwards, with Greysen now leading the way since he has a shield. We get to the end of the tunnel, where there is a small camp fire, a couple of badly dressed men and a chest and some sacks. It looks like there is a raised sleeping area for four people.

Greysen steps out, ordering them to surrender, and I step out behind. Disappointingly, they surrender.

We tie them up, and they also look rather abnormal, with pointy ears and teeth similar to the other two.

I unlock the chest, and there is almost a prick on my finger, and there is a bent needle that tried to pierce me. Thank you father. In the chest there seems to be mostly junk, though there is a fine belt buckle and several coin purses. There is a fancy ring as well, attached to a discoloured and oozing finger.

The two look like they’re undergoing some transformation, and also have bite marks on them. They don’t look particularly ratty, maybe a little like the goblins or Red Caps. They have seen rats, some quite large – about four feet long plus tail. Apparently the rats are along the passage, under the ‘food place’. Probably an inn.

We take the two and their chest outside, where they complain about the sunlight hurting them. Whilst Greysen heads off to find the sheriff, the woman who is still there tries to club the two prisoners with an ore. Aodhan stops her, and I hand over the buckle to her so that she can collect the reward. The two are handed over to the town guard who take them off to be dealt with.

Samuel Penn