A Fistful of Coppers

Love & Rats

Carric could tell that the woman wanted something more from him than to “take care of these dreadful rats”. Perhaps it was the way she drooled a little as she admired him, or the sensuous way she limped through her home to show them to the basement. Most assuredly her toothless smile spoke subtly of her wanton desire for him. But Carric knew he could not indulge in such things. He could not afford a romantic entanglement, no matter how tempting.

The group, minus Avienda and Xiang, had left to go in search of supplies when they had come across the woman. Gray haired and hunched over, sweeping the street in front of her house, she noticed Carric as they passed and stopped the adventurers. Breathing heavily – Carric could not be sure if it was from the effort of sweeping or from a newly awakened passion – she explained to them that her basement had recently been infested by huge rats and she was too frightened to enter. The heroes, being heroes, decided to help her.

She beckoned to them to follow as she entered the little house. Inside they immediately noticed the strange decor – Shag carpets ran throughout the house. Art fashioned from luxurious black velvet adorned the walls. As they passed the bedroom, Carric could see that its ceiling was inexplicably covered with a large mirror.

The woman showed them to a door which opened to a set of crude steps leading down. “I hope you don’t mind if I stay up here while you gentlemen go down. I can’t bear to come near these vile creatures.” She winked her one good eye at Carric.

They made their way down in to the dark and musty basement. Carric cast a light cantrip on his staff so they could find their way. As they reached the bottom of the steps, Starch commented to his companions. “She seemed nice. Reminds me much of my grandmother.”

The basement turned out to be more than just one room, actually consisting of a few discreet storage areas, filled with crates and barrels. They did find several giant rats which they dispatched handily. When they finally came to what seemed to be the last room to clear, they discovered another set of steps down. Cautiously making their way down the narrow steps, they came face-to-plant with two huge and grotesque plant creatures. The monsters shambled towards the party, vines lashing out at them, trying to grab at them. One managed to pull Carric in to its grips, slowly constricting around him. Starch came to Carric’s rescue, calling down Bahamut’s wrath. After a short but frenzied combat, the creatures were reduces to small piles of plant matter.

The group explored the small sub-basement and realized that the abominations had broken in to the area from an adjacent sewer line. They set about repairing the damage in hopes that it would prevent any further intrusions. Elsewhere in the room, they found food stores, a locked chest, and other evidence that made it appear the room was often occupied, not just a deserted basement room.

They made their way back upstairs to assure the home’s owner that she need not worry about the rats anymore. When they told her of the plant monsters and asked her about the room in the sub-basement she gave Carric a coy look. “Oh, that’s just where the smugglers stay.”

Carric gave he a puzzled look. “Smugglers?”

The woman shrugged and grinned wickedly. “Why don’t you stay for dinner and I’ll tell you about them…”

Carric cleared his throat nervously. “I… uhh… I’m sorry but we really must be going. Early start tomorrow and all that….”

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rsylvanus

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