In the ruins of the watchtower the wounded party settled down to rest and recover. They camped for most of the day, until Old Man Willow and Magnus had woken, and everyone else was feeling much better. Guards were set, with even Ratkin taking a shift, but nothing unexpected happened. With their wounds tended to and their bruises healing, they grabbed their gear and headed back down into the dank cellar and the tunnels leading off.
Torches and magical lights lit, they ventured back into the tunnels, cautiously, expecting fire-balls to come hurling out of the dark at any moment. They traced their way back to the nest, found Horace’s body was missing, and found a tunnel leading up and outside, hidden behind brambles a few dozen yards north of the ruins. Ratkin spotted coins in the nest, and started to fill his pockets. The others, with Jacob and Willow acting as rear-guards, moved further in, finding another empty nest (Ratkin dove into it, looting the treasure he found there), and another tunnel leading deeper.
This tunnel led to a shrine: pillars supported worked stone ceiling, a loose stone reveal a once hidden cubbyhole, and an altar of crushed bone had an obsidian statuette of a rearing rat atop it. Magnus shifted the stone and peered into the cubbyhole, finding a couple of leathery scrolls and a vial of midnight blue liquid. Willow waited outside, keeping an eye on Ratkin as he rummaged for coins, and Jacob stood guard by the entrance to the shrine. Then, Alf heard scratching from behind the altar, and went to have a look: there, trying hard not to be seen, was the giant rat that had hurled fire-balls at them! He alerted the others, ducked behind the pillar and jabbed at the creature, causing it to squeal in pain. Callum leapt on top of the altar, his bow ready, and dodged a ball of fire as it sped past his head. He let loose with an arrow, which dug deep into the rat’s flesh. He sent another into its hide, and then Alf stabbed it through the chest, killing the foul beast. Horace’s body was found beneath it, half-eaten, dead.
They carried Horace’s body out, burying it before they made camp for the night. They spent some time searching the tunnels and caves, and looked inside the keg of rum, finding a glass bottle with a map hidden inside: showing a portion of the forest and the ‘elven caves’ with a note saying that the ‘loot is hidden in the cave with the fox sign’.
Back outside, they decided to head home to Gallow’s Hill, restock, and then head into the Great Forest and explore the caves and other locations on the map they’d found. It took several days to return, and another couple spent buying supplies, telling the elders of the village about their adventures, and taking stock. The next morning, equipped and feeling adventurous, they crossed the old bridge over the river and entered the forest.
End of Session
Note: Callum is now Level 3.
No gaming for the next two weeks, as I’m off on holiday to the Isle of Wight. I’ll be looking out and avoiding those energy-draining corpses though.