The Hand of Ptolus

Rat Race

21 Newyear

So it’s been a hell of a day.
When I woke up this morning, I was wondering if I had wasted a good chunk of money on the delver’s membership that sits next to this journal on my desk. I had enough coin to get me through another couple of months, but I was going to have to seriously look at finding a real job after that. I had found a partner, but she seemed half con artist, and two adventurers seems…well, not enough.

That was this morning. Tonight, I’m flush with cash. My partner is sleeping in the room next to mine. We might have just quietly saved the city. And my partner turns into a being of light in times of stress. It’s been a day.

The day didn’t even start out normally. Down to the Minstrel for coffee, bread, and cheese. Only before I even get there, a pack of dire rats attack out on the street in broad daylight. I’d just met up with Liana and we got rid of them readily enough. She’s a deadeye with that crossbow of hers. Watch showed up in the nick of time, a.k.a. right after we’d killed all the rats. They were, however, gracious enough to pay us a bounty.

Broadsheets didn’t have anything new in them. So I wander out to the post in the middle of the square. Every day, I come out here and it’s advertisements that need whole groups of adventurers. Then there’s this one – it’s just been scribbled and tacked up. It’s also involving the Shuul. I’m passingly interested in the Shuul – some of the older designs I saw in University could use a bit of technology, like the Archimedes Screw. But if a Shuul needs help, and needs it bad enough to advertise at the post, that can’t be all good.

Turns out it was pretty much all bad. Shuul guy’s name was Carson and he’d had a friend, name of Rorsh. Rorsh, it turns out, was really fond of rats and disease. How do you make friends like that? My friends are interested in making money, for the most part (the most part being Tor and his various collection schemes). Rorsh, on the other hand, goes crazy, which doesn’t sound like a long trip for this fellow, and makes off with a disease the Shuul had been studying.

Because studying disease and keeping vials of it around is such a keen idea. Time to rethink that whole making friends with the Shuul notion.

Anyroad, it turns out that our encounter with the rats was only one of several and Carson is certain that his old buddy has been giving rats this “pulsing puffs” disease and sending them out into the world to get to know folks. He asks that we track his old friend down and put a stop to whatever plague-related plans he’s got.

We trace him to a charming bit of real estate, called the Roachway. It’s just below a section of the Warrens. I’m trying to figure out what’s nastier than the sewers beneath the Warrens and I’m still coming up empty when we go down. Let’s not dwell on whether that makes me an idiot.

The whole place is filled with rats and ratmen. Turns out Rorsh was gathering them for some nefarious purpose, but it also turns out he’s kind of a cream puff. As soon as he ran out of magical shenanigans, he high-tailed it out, leaving behind a few ratmen he had infected. Guy even looked kind of like a rat.

But it was in that fight that my partner, who had been playing off that her healing magic had come from some external source, turned out to be…hells, I don’t know what. She turned into this light being. At first, I was perplexed, then a little pissed, then I thought about it – Liana’s not real religious, so far as I can tell, and if the Lothianites found out that she’d been “blessed” by their god, well… who am I to judge?

Anyroad, Rorsh beat feet and we took the ratmen who’d been infected to the Brotherhood of Redemption. Sold the ratmen’s gear to Hastor and Bull & Bear and collected our reward from Carson for returning the empty vials that used to hold deadly diseases. I’m not sure exactly what we accomplished today, but it feels like a good deed done.

It’ll do.

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