Tharren Ironshield really likes cats.
Granted, cats are excellent companions underground, hunting vermin and finding warm spots to nap. Several dwarf clans maintain large numbers of cats as companions and vermin control.
But something happened about ten years ago that made Tharren obsessed with cats. He was cursed by a jilted lover to become a werecat (same stats as a wererat, ironically). Instead of attempting to bury his lycanthropy or completely embrace it, he sought a third way: a meditative control. His studies and research attracted 12 other, similar-minded lycanthropes who now follow him in their attempts to control their urges.
Surprise, surprise: It hasn’t worked. In fact, it’s only driven the cult’s members further into frustration and, in Tharren’s case, near madness.
However, the cult recently learned of an artifact that might cure them: Bidala’s Ring. Enter the adventurers!
As a friendly faction, the cult’s obsession has made them eccentric as opposed to dangerously out of touch with reality. They’re desperate to control their condition, and fortunately several of them come from wealthy families.
Plot hook: Tharren contacts the PCs and asks them to hunt down Sid Majora, a famous warlock who recently recovered Bidala’s Ring from a dangerous dungeon. This can be as simple as confronting Sid in his apartment in a city, or a multi-stage operation where the PCs must learn of Sid’s various hiding places and visit each one for clues (diary entries, maps, talkative assistants) as to where he hid Bidala’s Ring.
As a foe faction, the cult’s members have been driven mad through their many ritualistic attempts to control their lycanthropy. Now they’re obsessed with Bidala’s Ring, and have taken to assaulting anyone even rumored to possess it (usually ending with the death of the victim).
Plot hook: Jade Thorn, the half-elf captain of the City Watch in this district of the city, contacts the PCs and asks them to investigate a string of attacks. Two people have been murdered; one assaulted but escaped. All were rumored to have owned Bidala’s Ring, though the Watch hasn’t made this connection yet. If the PCs take too long investigating, the cult will kill again.
Plot hook 2: The PCs are approached by Mara Mahatman, the second daughter of a merchant family and occasional adventurer. She was one of a party who went searching for Bidala’s Ring but never found it, and two other members of her party have been attacked and killed. She fears for her life and asks the PCs to investigate while she takes precautions.
The Crypt of the Werecats
The cult operates out of a crypt entered through catacombs beneath a grand cathedral in the city.
The werecats avoid the corridor between the Hold and the Cistern, as it is haunted by several vicious ghosts. Otherwise, the PCs will encounter the werecats here in various numbers.
Use stats for the wererats in the Monster Manual (AC 12, HP 33, Init +2; Attack +4). Tharren also uses those stats except he has an AC of 14, 45 HP, and deals an extra +2 damage on his attacks if he’s within 10 feet of at least one other cultist.