Questions & Answer
Ser Arlynn asks around South Shore to see if anyone saw what happened to Ruan, but the servants tending the nearby empty mansions are no help. Slim, meanwhile, reports back to Cressida and asks about the mad elf Jolistina. He learns that she was a minor criminal with a morbid, self-destructive streak. Cressida is concerned that Rolth and the Cult of Urgathoa would give such valuable gear to a small-timer like Jolistina. It suggests the cult has far more resources at its disposal than expected.
When pressed by Slim for any other leads, Cressida notes that they have little to go on beyond the sunken ship itself. Sable Company dispatched a team to the vessel a few days after it sunk, but they never returned. If the party is willing to follow up, she would be grateful, but she urges them to confer with Marcus Endrin of Sable Company for advice on underwater expeditions.
Egan visits Faunra at the Citadel, where she and the other druids are tending to guardsmen who have fallen ill. Egan asks if they’ve heard anything about the missing Varisian musical prodigy, but the Elf admits she has not. However, Faunra says she will follow up with her kinsmen at the Elven Embassy in South Shore to see if they saw anything.
Slim then begins trekking up to the Sticky Mermaid, but is drawn into an alley in North Point by Kyra. The halfling woman wants to pick up their conversation about the Bekyar slavers. She says that the slavers set up in Korvosa six months ago, but the operation was so hush-hush that she didn’t even learn of it until a few weeks ago.
The Cerulean Society is taking a cut of the slavers’ profits in exchange for having a corrupt tariff inspector, Grask, ensure that the slavers’ ships can come and go without scrutiny. Kyra’s family escaped slavery in Cheliax two generations ago and she has no desire to see it take root in Korvosa. But as the Society’s grip on the city weakens under pressure from the plague, the pro-slavery faction only grows stronger. She gives Slim a bag of gold for freeing the halflings, while swearing him to secrecy about her role in leaking the information.
Learning of the party’s plan to investigate the sunken ship, Kyra suggests they get in touch with an old woman named Eries Yelloweyes who fences potions and other items at a stall in the Gold Market.
When Slim approaches Old Korvosa, he sees that the district has been effectively abandoned by the Guard, with even more sick on the streets while ruffians openly loot the houses of the dead. Grouping up with Zandu, the two of them decide to spend the night with the others at Zellara’s house.
Threat from the Sewers
The following day, the party seeks out Eries Yelloweyes, who says she can offer them all potions of water breathing—but only if they help her with a favor. She says that she has heard good things about them from Kyra and from Samp the sewer scavenger. Eries says that the citizens of Korvosa are looking for someone to blame for the plague, and one easy scapegoat is the city’s wererat population.
One unlucky wererat was caught on the surface and killed by a mob. Now a band of wererats led by Girrigz are preparing to launch a retaliatory strike against the city. Eries fears that their misguided effort could bring down another rat purge even worse than the ones under the old Queen Domina decades ago. Eries fears that Girrigz can’t be reasoned with, but she urges the party to stop him with a minimum loss of wererat lives. Then she can help them investigate the ship.
Rodents of Unusual Sentience
The party ventures once more into Korvosa’s tangled maze of sewers. After dispatching a small group of ghouls, they draw near the wererat den. Hoping for a diplomatic solution, Arlynn, Slim, and Zandu enter with their weapons holstered. They encounter a trio of wererats who, while initially suspicious, are ultimately talked into arranging an audience with their leader. But when one of them goes to alert him, Girrigz responds by bellowing for the wererats to kill the surfacers.
Another four wererats spill into the from chamber of the den, but only about half of the lycanthropes take part in the battle, while the others hang back. The start of hostilities also alarms the shrieker mushroom in the front chamber, which lets out an earsplitting wail that makes further dialogue impossible.
To escape the crowd of wererats, Zandu drops a smoke stick and flees into the main sewer tunnel, where Egan and Ashla are waiting. Slim, and several wererats, soon follow him out. Arlynn is trapped in the haze, surrounded by wererats and enveloped in a biting swarm of filthy rats.
A metal grate that sealed off part of the sewer channel grinds open, releasing an Otyugh that swiftly ensnares Zandu. Working together, Egan and Ashla are able to bring down the abomination, while Slim fends off the wererats. Arlynn, meanwhile, is caught in a blind slugging match with a wererat inside the smoke cloud, even as the rat swarm continues to gnaw at her despite her spiked armor.
The Wrath of Girrigz
With the otyugh dead, Egan and Ashla refocus their attention on the wererats. It is at this point that Girrigz himself appears, garbed in chain mail and wielding a mithral rapier. He charges Zandu and bites him savagely, sending the sorcerer tumbling to the ground with a terrible wound—and the taint of lycanthropy.
The wererat leader proceeds to deal grievous harm to Ashla, batting aside her defenses with two vicious stabs of his rapier. Soon, he is fighting Egan, Slim and Ashla while holding his own.
Determined to help her friends, Arlynn stumbles blindly out of the smoke and is knocked to the ground by her wererat foe. With the air finally free of the shrieker’s howl, she calls out to Girrigz, urging him to negotiate. But the lycanthrope leader is fully committed to wreaking vengeance on all non-wererats.
Ashla deftly cuts down his remaining follower, but Girrigz then dispatches her with a terrible blow, leaving her near death in the sewer channel. Slim and Arlynn grimly close in on the wererat, but it is Egan who ultimately brings him down with a lightning strike.
The remaining wererats, who sat out the fight, vacate the den peacefully, pledging never to harm the surface.
The Curious Case of the Rats in the Nighttime
The party returns to Eries, who thanks them for sparing what wererats they could. Eries relates how some of her brethren watched the ship sink and saw strange debris drifting from the its hull. The flotsam amounted to small boxes full of dead rats and a few bags of silver coins conveniently bound to floating timbers. Suspecting something wrong, the wererats kicked the the debris back into the river. Eries is convinced that the ship is incredibly dangerous. She then provides the party with potions of water breathing.
The five adventurers check in with Commandant Marcus Endrin at the Great Tower to get his advice on aquatic expeditions. He explains that land-bound creatures will be out of their element in the water, making them vulnerable to creatures native to the environment. The party pledges to keep him informed of what they find, though Slim fears that the answers they uncover may not be to their liking.