Zhilin Campaign Journal #14: Ratlings… Meet the Ratlings…

Last time our heroes had just joined the battle between the rats and the strange, hairy, humanoid figure… And our heroes were unsure whether the creature in the center was Brun, a ratling, or something else. Bart, the Cleric, cast Detect Evil on the creature and got a certain “YES!” from his deity in response, so at least to him — the question was moot. (See the last journal entry for more details.)

Awesome were-rat from Deviantart!Nothing they (or the rats) had done so far seemed to even come close to touching the creature, but still they waded into the fray. Dagara, the Shaman, charged in with hammer high and did a great hit — with no effect. It was at that point that they knew they might be in trouble.

Avil tossed a Sleep spell into the middle of the battle and put all the remaining rats to sleep, which gave them a moment to ponder what to do next!

In a desperate move, they came up with a daring plan — douse the creature in oil and set him on fire! Bart shattered his oil lamp on the creature and Solo lit it ablaze with a spark from his flint. With a flash, fur began to burn and they definitely got the creature’s attention. In fact, it began to ran out of the fray and away from the PCs.

Part of the group pursued the creature and others began dispatching giant rat after giant rat. They were concerned that when the rats awoke, the rats would outnumber them, so they made quick work. One shot, one kill while they were asleep.

Down the hall, Avil decided to peer into the magical spectrum with a Detect Magic as they followed the creature. It had run into a room and the wizard saw it dancing with black mystical energy. Was it possible that the creature was cursed? Might the curse have made it appear evil to Bart? What exactly was going on here? With that new information, debate raged on among the heroes, wondering whether this creature was in fact the poor Goon Brun.

And as if they didn’t have enough going on… a group of small furry humanoids appeared on the scene from the far side of where some of the PCs were dispatching rats. And they screamed the word “Silver!” but nobody understood what they meant.

Questions were shouted back and forth with the new folks at a furious rate… Who were they? They assumed that these might be the ratlings the Goon leader Falco had mentioned. What was going on? Where was Brun? And with our heroes not really knowing who to trust, there might have been an attack thrown at a ratling who got “too close” during this little exchange.

Awesome ratling from Britt Martin!

It turns out that the ratlings had Brun in their care and had been healing him! The creature they had cornered in the room was a “Shifter” and had been attacking everything in his path. Only silver would damage it.

Aha! Finally the pieces were falling into place.

Hansel drew his silvered dagger and charged into battle with the creature. He did damage, but the Shifter got in a lucky shot with both claws, ripping him asunder. In addition to the damage, the dwarf knew things were just “not right” and he was feeling a sickness in addition to the nearly mortal wounds he had suffered.

Solo and Bart scrambled into their backpacks to find any silvered weapons they might have had lying around. (As an aside, this was the first time the players had a chance to spend some Brownie Points in the campaign. Isaac spent one to get a silver longsword and Jonathan spent one to get some silver tipped crossbow bolts. )

Within moments, the beast was down. A few blows of the longsword, a crossbow bolt or two, and the creature fell to the floor bleeding profusely. As it perished, it transformed from a hairy wild humanoid beast into a scrawny man. Definitely signs of lycanthropy. They would have to seek help for Hansel, and quickly.

When the battle was finished, Dagara healed a bit of the dwarf’s wounds, but he was still extremely hurt. The threat destroyed, they could more easily chat with the ratlings who were obviously relieved. They led them down the hall and through a secret door in a wall into a well-lit area that is obviously their den. And in one corner, they found a large figure resting on a pile of pillows and blankets — the Goon named Brun!

Next time we’ll chat a bit about what our heroes discover while speaking with the ratlings and Brun…

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