We explored the sewer systems thoroughly, looking for any changes from the previously unknown configuration, but found nothing changed in the sewer layout. Except, possibly, the cow-eating tentacle monster was gone. We did happen upon two wererats carrying a young man names Giles (clearly destined for a life of vampire hunting) into the sewers. He called out for help, and we arrayed for battle. But our new friend Clubeck cast some sort of spell to knock them out without a real fight. We woke up Giles and tied up the wererats thoroughly, briefly discussing how to handle them. With the sewer rats watching the discussion was brief; we took them back to the surface and to the temple of Dogma.

The temple tested them for lycanthropy (positive) and offered to cure them if we paid. We agreed to a quest in retrurn for one cure, hoping a cured ex-rat would rat on his ex-colleagues. No luck, his mind was mostly destroyed, but it did come out that he had been captured as a child and raised by the rats. The second wererat we took to the church of St Ygg, where he was tested and then executed. Of the two he seemed to be the leader, and thus less deserving of mercy.

The Dogmans charged us 300gp (or an equivilent quest) to cure one of the wererats. He wasn’t able to tell us much, having been abducted years ago. He did mention the rat god Arimaniux who had some plot to take over or destroy threshold by rising from the sewers, led by a “red priestess” named Vee. We left him confined in the Dogma sanitarium, where they promised to allow me access to question him in the future. We suggested they find some young scholar seeking a career in academia and encourage them to specialize in lycanthropy now that we have a likely source of more information.

There were some hints that transformations to wererat form are not normally voluntary. Perhaps the abductions are on a schedule tied to the blood moon?

The quest for the Dogmans is to acquire for them the claw of a giant praying mantis, or a preserved ogre brain. Bern mentioned being attacked by a preying mantis once so he knows where to find one. Ogres seem common enough, so if we ask around the Glorious Blades, someone will have seen some recently I suppose. We have 7 weeks to find one or the other, and a scroll of preservation to use when bringing it back (I paid a 50gp deposit, which I want back when we return with the head or claw).

The priest of Doghma was interested in Verminbane, the magical sword granted to me by Cloacina the Clenser. After handling it, he said the blade was intelligent and that this was rare. In his hands, but not mine, it bears an inscription reading “ABLUERIT DOMINUS SORDES TERRAE”.

It seems Cloacina has not yet accepted me, though I plan to dedicate my life to her service in hopes of being found worthy eventually. Perhaps if I retuern to her hidden altar and swear to clense the sewers of wererats in her name? (Better be sure to specify were-rats; nothing I can do about the normal ones).

The Yggians paid us 200gp for the live wererat, but won’t pay for dead ones. They did offer a discount on cures if we signed up with them temporarily, wore their tabards, and did everything for the glory of Ygg. We declined, and they assigned two paladins to follow us to the entrance to the sewers. I led them back to the Druid and Whale, completely ignoring Ygnas and the bandits. I know those two groups would not mix well. Describing the effect of wading through sewage on their shiny tabards was not a deterrant.

All things considered I’d rather settle for dead wererats. Those cured are not themselves and seem forever lost to civilized society, and it’s a lot of trouble to capture them and bring them back. Recent captives might be salvageable, though. Also, I’m concerned that some among the city’s surface population may have been infected and operating in secret to advance the wererat’s plots. Just a hunch.

The next morning, we found that one of the bandits had deserted.

I will attempt another call for mercenaries, then we shall descend into the sewers and prepare to stay for a few days to explore.