Word arrived from Oscar that some of the Glorious Blades had found something interesting in the sewers under Threshold. A small shrine to a nearly forgotten minor goddess of cleansing, lost and surrounded by filth and wererats. The Venus Cloacina, protecting a beautiful sword. The answer to my prayers and my search for meaning.
I had never been a healthy child, as my name suggests. but ever since I had taken up the adventuring life, it had gotten worse. Especially since that time in the barrow when – well, when I died. I picked up a cough in hell that hasn’t left me since. No matter what herbal teas, vapor rubs, barbarian poltices, or clerical murmurings I got, the cough persisted. Admittedly, sometimes it got better briefly, but I could always feel it dragging me down. And any time I had a close brush with death, it got worse, and took months of carefully nursing my health back before I could even think of adventuring again.
But now I have hope. The sword Oscar brought me is a relic of the goddess Venus Cloacina the Clenser. I have sworn myself to her service, standing vigil through the night at the Druid and Whale, though she has not yet accepted me. I’m not surprised. A man of my failing constitution will inevitably be required to clense himself before I can possibly be worthy of her blessing. Nevertheless, I will accept the task She has given me, and clense the wererats from the sewers of Threshold.
And about that…
Oscar passed his share of the gold discovered in the statue to me, feeling honor-bound to do so as he had been unable to accept the task from Cloacina. It was as if the goddess had foreseen my need to re-equip. I spent the next morning shopping for the gear that seemed appropriate, along with transforming my platinum ingot into a retirement fund. I replaced my armor and shield, bought a sheath, oil, rope with a grappling hook, and a ladder, based on the expectation of a vertical descent to the wererat lair. I paid also for 10 silver arrows or bolts each for the elf and dwarf, which are to be returned to me following the expedition, and a sprig of wolfsbane for myself, u-Heury, and Ygnas. I wasn’t entirely clear why Ygnas was taking over from Stria, but Stria does seem to get bored quickly. Maybe she has had her fill of sewers, for which I can hardly blame her.
Unfortunately, those hirelings who had not received a half-share of the find from yesterday left. Perhaps they felt it unfair, but it was the terms they agreed to.
We descended into the sewers once more. However, in the large room where Oscar claimed to have left a giant turtle, there was only a lifeless turtle corpse, nibbled extensively by rats along with larger, more serious wounds. At least the creature died fighting, but it is unfortunate that we lost an ally.
Following Oscar’s notes, we located the control valves and set them to the proper configuration to expose the lower level. As expected, this attracted the attention of several rat swarms. They kept their distance from our torches, but eventually attacked as we closed in on the passage down. u-Heury and I in the lead both took wounds, but prevailed. Further back, the elven archer died when rats got to him before anyone could help. We wrapped his body in cloth and left it where we could retrieve it on the way back. I reclaimed the silver arrows, and his longbow, the latter temporarily.
By then the way down had finished draining, so we opened the trapdoor and went down. At the bottom of the stairs was a large room with four wererats waiting for us. After a brief exchange of threats, u-Heury and I charged them. Ygnas will guard the stairs while the dwarf will use his silver bolts from behind her.