Rat Bastards!

A posting hangs on the board outside the tavern. It reads, “Seeking new adventurers or friends out for a good time: Our farm requires simple pest control. Please see Maise the Cheese-seller at her stall for details.” It might be good to give back to the community, go on a simple quest here in town...

Story Notes

PREP: Cut the letter from the end of this content for COVERT OPERATIONS. The story notes have been placed in the “Narrative” section for narrator’s use after the letter has been removed.

COVERT OPERATIONS: Before this mod, review the list of participating players and compile a short list of sanctums that will be left unattended. After the mod has started send monster(s) available to sack a sanctum and leave a note from the Rebellion and Consortium found at the end of this adventure (4.1 - COVERT OPERATIONS). If the attack fails and the monster is not searched, run an attack on the next sanctum on the list until either the note is posted or removed from the monster’s body. 

COW TIPPING: If players decide at any point to partake in cow-tipping, see scene 3.1 - Cow Tipping (Optional)

If players later choose to return to Maise and Seamus, they may do so during open play. The outcome of the exchange is the narrator’s discretion, but the cheese farmers had no knowledge of the attack. Report the outcome to Rachel Webb.

Materials
Monsters

ALL Squirrels - Bear Nutchuckers

ALL Rats - Diabolus Demonbourne

2 Cows - No card. 3 Body and no abilities. 

Higgins- Halfling Assassin

1.1 - The Hook

Narrative
Your group has seen the advertisement posted on the boards around town: local farmers seek help with pest control. You follow the instructions at the bottom of the posting to the market district and locate Masie the Cheesemaker.
Scene Notes
MASIE RP NOTES:
She should offer to sell the adventurers many of her fine cheeses.
[Posting] Ah, yes! It’s been some time since we posted, but I am glad we finally have some takers.
[Job] Our farm and barn are overrun with rats ever since our poor kitty cat passed. I know it’s menial work, but can you please clear them out. They’re getting into our stores and harassing our cows. We’ve put out what traps we can, but they just aren’t enough.
[Payment] We can’t afford more than a few coppers, I’m afraid. Though I can part with some of my cheeses!

After RP, proceed to the next scene.
Narrative Effects
Forecast: easy- Weil
Insight: medium- Maise is an honest worker that just doesn’t have the skills and time to deal with her rat problem
Inspect Evil: easy- NO
Inspect Magic: easy- Mundane

1.2 - Encounters of the Squirreled Kind

Narrative
Maise gives you detailed directions to the farm a few miles out of town to the south. The weather is lovely for the time of year, and the birds are singing sweet melodies. Up ahead in the road, you see one of the largest squirrels you’ve ever seen; it sits two feet tall. As it catches sight of your group, it skitters toward you.
Scene Notes
The squirrel of unusual size (SOUS) will be friendly. He is looking for food, and if no one attempts to communicate with him, he will begin trying to paw through the party’s belongings looking for nuts and berries. He will be very insistent. Upon one of the following, the squirrel will become hostile:
-Being told “No”
-Being chastised for digging in their pockets
-Being attacked

If the party does not attack the squirrel, then do not run scene 2.1 - Squirrel Gang
Narrative Effects
Commune Nature: easy- The squirrel wants your nuts. You must have nuts.
Inspect Evil: medium- neutral
Inspect Magic: medium- mundane
Inspect Nature: medium- You haven’t seen squirrels this big in Jastrey before. You remember hearing something about large strange squirrels in…. Gah! You can’t remember.
Resurrect: easy- You are able to resurrect the squirrel; it darts into the undergrowth

1.3 - Rats

Narrative
After your encounter with the squirrel, your journey to the farm does not take much longer. Ahead, you see a quaint farmhouse and barn. A wail breaks the silence of the scene. As you trade concerned looks with your party, a short, elderly gentleman makes his way out of the farmhouse.

[After RP] Swinging the door to the barn open, you see enormous rats scatter between the feet of many annoyed milk cows. Further within, you hear another wail. One rat jumps at your from the shadows, and others follow.
Scene Notes
FARMER SEAMUS RP NOTES:
Arg! That damned screaming has been going on for two days! TWO DAYS! Just when I think it’s safe to close my eyes for a nap, off it goes again!
[Screaming?] Damn banshee is my guess! All sort of strange things roamin’s out of those new woods o’er yonder.
[Rats?] Yeah, we got a rat problem too, but I’m more concerned about that screaming. She told you about the rats, but not the banshee?!
Well, we find rats all about, but they mostly seem to be holed up in the barn-- along with that there banshee-- I’ll stay out of your way and let your work. Give the door a knock when you’re done.
OH! And don’t you hurt my cows. My girls are the only children I’ve got left.

COMBAT NOTES- Rats should be below APL; any difficulty should come from consistent spawning. Depending on how many monsters you have, there should be 1-2 cows denoted by costuming or glow sticks. Cows have 3 Body and no abilities. Rats should not deal excessive damage to cows. One hit here or there. The challenge is more for the players to not accidentally kill a cow.

After main floor combat, proceed to the next scene.

COMBAT: Rats, cows (allies)
Narrative Effects
Commune Nature (cows): medium- please make them go away; they’re nippy and scary
Commune Nature (rats): medium- Here shall we prepare a place for our coming kind and god! Long live Ratmandu!
Commune Spirit: medium- You contact Kitty Cat. She says that this is appalling; this infestation would never have happened on her watch.
Commune Spirit (specifically the wailing): impossible- Kitty Cat is the only spirit here.
Insight: medium- Seamus isn’t all bad; he’s just irritable and a little stupid
Inspect Evil (Seamus): Easy- No
Inspect Evil (Rats): Medium- Neutral
Inspect Magic: easy- Mundane
Inspect Nature (cows): easy- these are regular milk cows, though skittish in their current circumstances
Inspect Nature (rats): medium- they look like regular rats… just really big… and mean.
Resurrect: medium- You are able to resurrect the cow

1.4 - More Rats

Narrative
As you slay the last of the rats who’ve harassed the cows, you hear more skittering from the loft. Looking around, you cannot find a ladder.
Scene Notes
As you slay the last of the rats who’ve harassed the cows, you hear more skittering from the loft. Looking around, you cannot find a ladder.

Scene Notes
Players with FLY or PROPEL can reach the upper loft. Players with CARRY or CONJURE can shimmy up on an uninterrupted one minute count.

For combat, lay out a boundary with rope, or us the sidewalk in the main field to divide the loft from the main floor. Rats can be pushed from the loft. Spawn continuously.

A SUBDUED player in the loft may be PUSHED down to ground level, but they become SLAIN.

COMBAT: Rats
Narrative Effects
Conjure: You are able to conjure a method up to the support beam, but it takes you 60 seconds
Explore (ladder): impossible- Why the hell don’t these people have a ladder?!! You can’t find one anywhere.
Fly: automatic- You make it to the loft
Propel: automatic- you make it to the loft

1.5 - The Banshee

Narrative
As the last rat you see topples to the floor below, you hear another wail that comes from the floor beneath you.

[The cellar] You swing up the cellar door and hear another wail, “Help! Pleeeeeease! It hurts! You have to help me!” The cellar is black is night.

[After story actions] Descending into the cellar, you hear rats scattering away from you. Across the room, you see a small humanoid figure caught in an enormous and elaborate rat trap. Closer, you can see that it’s a hafling teenager.
Scene Notes
HIGGINS RP NOTES:
Thank the immortals, you’ve finally come to help! Please! My arm…
[Banshee?] What? NO. I’m a halfling. A halfling stuck in a rat trap. Help please?
[What are you doing here?] I came cow-tipping with a friend, but then we had the bright idea to go looking for cheeses. Our light went out, and here I am. HELP.

Options for Freeing Higgins:
Solve the puzzle.
Find Seamus for help; it IS his rat trap.
Sabotage- Requires one success. After two failures, the trap becomes so mutilated only brute force options remain
Breach the trap- Requires 3 successes. Each check deals 2 damage to Higgins
Damage the trap- Trap has 8HP. Each time someone deals damage to the trap, Higgins and the breaching player suffer “2 HITS” as parts fly off.

As the party discusses how to free Higgins, periodically spawn 1-2 rats. After Higgins is freed, send one more full wave.

COMBAT: Rats, Higgins (ally)
Narrative Effects
Inspect Secret: Medium- You manage to find an area where the hay has been disturbed! It’s the cellar door!
Explore: Medium- You manage to find an area where the hay has been disturbed! It’s the cellar door!
Commune Nature (cow): Medium- The cow leads you over to an area where the hay has been disturbed. It’s the cellar door!
Adapt Darkness: automatic- You are able to see the cellar clearly
Breach: medium: see scene notes
Forecast (free Higgins): medium- Weil
Insight: medium- Higgins is light-fingered but he’s not a bad guy
Inspect Evil: medium- neutral
Inspect Magic: easy- Mundane
Inspect Secret (puzzle): impossible- This is the thinking man’s rat trap; you have no idea how a man like Seamus uses something like this.
Inspect Wound: easy- Higgins looks rough. His arm is being crushed by the trap, definitely some broken bones. He’s also covered in rat bites. If it weren’t for his hunting knife and piercing scream, he’d be dead.
Light: automatic- you are able to see the cellar
Resurrect: medium- You are able to resurrect Higgins
Sabotage: hard- see story notes

2.1 - Squirrel Gang

Narrative
[If squirrel was at all engaged in combat in scene 1.2 - Encounters of the Squirreled Kind] As you make your way out of the barn with Higgins, you find yourself confronted by more squirrels of unusual size.

[After Combat/After Previous Scene] The ruckus has drawn Farmer Seamus from the house.

[After RP] You settle your business with Farmer Seamus and make your way back into town a few coppers and a bag of cheese richer.
Scene Notes
The squirrels are angry that you’ve been picking on their younger brother. If no one quickly uses COMMUNE NATURE, commence combat.

BOSS SQUIRREL RP NOTES:
You gave one of us grief, you give us all grief.
Either you all take a beat down OR you give us one of your own to take back to the nest

(One on one combat to settle the score is permitted, but not volunteered. Boss squirrel would still be an Epic)
OPTIONAL COMBAT: Squirrels, Boss Squirrel (Epic)

ANNOUNCE: BOSS SQUIRREL is an EPIC monster.
IF HIGGINS IS PRESENT ANNOUNCE: HIGGINS is an ally

Final RP: It is up to the party how they handle Higgins. How Seamus deals with Higgins is narrator’s discretion. If cows have been injured, payment will be withheld until the cows have been doctored and the party will receive no cheese :(
Narrative Effects
Commune Nature: easy- see story notes
Inspect Nature: easy- Something about the largest squirrel is… off.
Inspect Magic: hard- there’s something magical about that really big squirrel, but it’s eluding you.
Purge (squirrel?): impossible- combat commences

3.1 - Cow Tipping (Optional)

Narrative
You approach several cows.
Scene Notes
Players may attempt to engage in Cow Tipping

[IF DAYTIME] Players must be able to put the cows to sleep themselves or they cannot cow tip.
[IF NIGHTTIME] Players must wait at least 2 minutes between tippings to allow cows to fall asleep.

Monsters should be placed in the field at intervals. For best effect they should be on their hands and knees, but I’m not going to make anyone do that who doesn’t want to; distraught mooing is encouraged when tipped. Players can tip cows on a three count (Tipping 1, Tipping 2, Tipping 3).
Narrative Effects
Commune Nature (tipped cow): easy- This is not amoooosing!
Inspect Nature: easy- These are happy cows, and happy cows make happy cheese.

4.1 - COVERT OPERATIONS

Narrative
NARRATIVE EFFECTS
Inspect Aura: easy- bitterness and wrath
Inspect Magic (the barrier): medium- Pit magic
Locate: impossible- your spell is coming up against an impenetrable magic barrier
Scene Notes
PREP: Cut out the letter in the Narrative section for COVERT OPERATIONS.

COVERT OPERATIONS: Before this mod, review the list of participating players and compile a short list of sanctums that will be left unattended. After the mod has started send monster(s) available to sack a sanctum and leave a note from the Rebellion and Consortium found at the end of this adventure (4.1 - The Full Consortium). If the attack fails and the monster is not searched, run an attack on the next sanctum on the list until either the note is posted or removed from the monster’s body.
Narrative Effects
NARRATIVE:

Adventurers of Jastrey,

You thought this was over. You thought we gave up and went about our quaint lives in this villain-infested hellscape. Some did. The strong did not. We remembered every woman and child and every slight and indiscretion since that fatal day in Joseph’s field. Our demands have not changed.

We are stronger, and we have powerful allies. We have watched patiently and learned. We will not be a strong-arm but a plague upon you: locusts and flies destroying your peace whenever you think you have found it. We know your peeves and weaknesses; look to them. We are coming.

With Spite,
The Full Consortium