Faction Friday: The Rat Cult

Posted by on March 17, 2017

Sewer

The Rat Cult can be used either as a friendly faction that sends the PCs out on a mission, or as a foe that the PCs must overcome. The cult bases itself out of a hideout in the sewer system beneath the city. Edric, a young male wererat, leads the cult of a dozen disaffected youths.

As a friendly faction, the cult’s just a group of teenagers who meet most nights to go through strange (mostly made-up) rituals and dare each other to pull pranks. Edric’s the intense, obsessed leader who tries to corral them, mostly unsuccessfully.

Plot hook: Edric’s worried about the future of his proto-religion. He’s heard of a crystal ball buried in an abandoned temple that can be reached from the sewer system. He investigated it, but found it guarded by a natural predator too powerful for his group (oozes, giant centipedes, giant bats, etc.). He hires the PCs to retrieve the crystal ball for him.

As a foe faction, Edric leads an intense cult of a dozen teenagers who despise the regular folk of the city. In the past three months, they’ve successfully robbed four well-known businesses and destroyed three pieces of public art. The town Watch hires the PCs to find the cultists and stop them.

Rat Hideout
The cultists found a large, unused maintenance room which now serves as their hideout. It sits at the end of two corridors, which they have effectively trapped.
First Corridor Second Corridor Maintenance Room
The first corridor has been rigged with a tripwire (DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) to detect). If tripped, it jangles a set of old keys and nails, alerting those inside.

Foe: If the tripwire is tripped, a swarm of rats followed by a cultist appears and attacks the intruders. The cultist will retreat if reduced to less than half its Hit Points.

 

This wide corridor contains two rat swarms which immediately attack, and has been rigged with its own, much harder to detect tripwire (DC 17 Wisdom (Perception) to detect). If tripped, a metal plate falls over each end of the corridor and sewer water pours in from the sides. The rats swim with no particular effort, still attacking the intruders. If not stopped, the water will completely fill the corridor.

A panel containing four levers sits on the other side of the room. Two of them must be pulled to stop the water, then another must be pulled to open a drain in the floor, then a fourth must be pulled to open the doors. The third and fourth lever will have no effect until the first and second are pulled.

The cultists lounge in this large chamber that swarms with rats. It contains a few tables and chairs, plus half a dozen beds of straw.

A panel of levers just like those in the earlier chamber sit on this side of the wall, as well. Various pipes and levers line the walls.

Foe: Edric will order the cultists to attack any intruders and will turn into his wererat form and join the fray. If he is killed and at least half the cultists are dead or unconscious, the rest will surrender.

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