Taris

Into the rat hole

In the words of Jacob…

The day started off a day like any other. I got to sleep in a little, I took a quick bath to wake up a bit, and then I headed to Autumn’s Harvest for some breakfast. Samantha mentioned to me that some new folks had come into town last night, and that one of them had mentioned he was here on Knight’s business. We chatted about it for a bit over breakfast, and I had soon forgotten about it by the time I was far enough into the woods to be out of sight of town. I didn’t think about it again until later that night, when I swung by the sheriff’s place to have a few drinks with Samuel. He told me that he’d spoken with a pair of Clerics from Celebraan, and that they’d need to head out into the woods. He couldn’t think of a better person to with them than myself or Henry. The two would be coming back to the office in the morning, and he thought it’d be a great idea if I could be present.

Morning came and I met the two Clerics. Phi and Chiron; both had trained in the capital or it’s outskirts in temples to Bahamut. The Knights had sent them to find out what was going on with the strange creatures in the farmers’ fields. I took them along to where the sightings had taken place, and not long afterwards we found ourselfs considerably into the wilderness. Finding some odd tracks, we decided it’d be best to investigate later after we’d had the chance to prepare. I took this opportunity to find Henry and bring him along. The next day we set out early, and hiked into the woods. We eventually found some tracks or drag marks, but they were difficult to follow. Eventually, they led to the remains of a buried camp along the riverside. Something had camped here recently, and it would be dark soon. The two Clerics were dead set on pressing on, or at least Phi was. So we did.

Well not long after crossing the river we found ourselves in bad company. Goblin company. It seemed that they had set up their formal camp around the backside of a little tree lined embankment. They came barreling around the corner and seemed quite intent on killing us for our little discovery. One of the buggers in the back even let out some great big rats from a cage. These things were the size of dogs! Seems they were trained like it too, because they bolted straight for us alongside the lingering goblin. Lucky for us, the two Clerics were there. After a long, drawn out skirmish we found ourselves triumphant, but not without our wounds. The two had done as much as they could with the magics they had available, but we all ended up limping back to town with some cuts and bruises to show nevertheless.

On the goblins, we found some orders and maps, which led our attention to a camp supposedly to the north. Deciding this was more than just a local issue, we traveled upriver and found another one of these goblin encampments. The spoils from this venture included some documents that mentioned a great rat, the size of a man, that would soon be unleashed upon the northeastern hamlet of River’s Fork. Moving quickly, we cut to the nearby town of Bettinshire and rested to regain our strength. We left straight away in the morning, heading north with haste. It would seem we had arrived just in time, for the night we pulled into town the beast set upon the outlying farmlands. It was a ferocious creature, and it drew much of our blood before we were finally able to put it down. Phi was confident that another camp would be found across the river, and that we should investigate in the morning.

As it would turn out, she was right. Another camp of goblins lay on the other side of the river, and again we engaged them in a brutal battle. After they fell, we found more directions from some leader figure who called himself The Rat King. After what we had seen, it was clear that this threat would need to be stopped. We, as it would turn out, were the only ones nearby capable of undertaking the task. With the four of us having agreed that this would be the best course of action, we set out for the lair of this Rat King. It is here that I sit now, in the woods outside of the cave entrance to his vile holding. I can smell the stench of goblins in the air, and their tracks pock the surrounding landscape. Tomorrow we shall head in to meet the threat head on, so here I must leave my writing. In the morning we will move, blades drawn, into the rat hole…

- Jacob Harken, Ranger of Celee

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