Skritt feels his age breaking him down, and wanted to break the curse from Pluves, God of Rains. So, from his base in Courvon, he gathered a group and traveled via ship and caravan wagon to Assignation. He took companions from the adventure slaying the Widow Dragon; his manservant Wayland, questing knight El, brawny wizard Vayu, and of course the godling Tuleo.
To avoid any entanglements from his past, Skritt took on the alias “Tirks.”
They traveled into Assignation, down the mighty avenue from the Gate, and settled at a drafty tavern, the Gambling Watchmen. They also contracted with a goblin fixer, who helped them with various arrangements for food, clothes, housing, and so forth. They rested for a meal at the tavern (their fixer brought them food from elsewhere), then they traveled past the Plaza (looking down into the impressive Pit for the first time) to the Winding Stair. They reached the Temple of the Healing Dark as the cleric staff were becoming active in the darkness.
Their fixer arranged them entry, and they traveled through the dark temple with goblin guides. They met a High Seer, and Skritt explained he sought shelter from Pluves curse and death from age. The others were dismissed, and the seer did a reading for Skritt. He said there was a dark monster around the temple to Pluves down in the Fringelands on the south side. Kill the monster, offer its heart at the Pluvian shrine, and that may do the trick. As for the other, after he’s done he can stay in the Temple and possibly become an acolyte if he is faithful enough.
Skritt hired a Pit guide, Svell, an odd goblin who arranged for them to meet him in the Plaza the next morning. He had a balloon ready, and they drifted down the the area of the Plusevian Plaza. He would return in 7 hours, and again at dawn. Then not any more.
Ambush at the Entry
Wayland saw evidence of large grazing herbivores, and found the entry they used. The party hid as a hornfrill and its calf came out to feed. Not wanting to mess with that, they skulked around to the main entry.
Tuleo led the way, finding it useful to be able to float when the pit traps opened below. As they approached a mural to see what it depicted, crossbows fired from a hole in the roof and from arrow slits flanking the mural, as reinforcements raced towards the battle from behind. The adventurers returned fire, and Tuleo punched through the mural to confront those firing through slits. The foes were hulking big man-rat-things, but the adventurers slew them out of hand (except the ones that managed to scramble away.)
Vayu blocked the route for reinforcements using an enchanted ethereal thorn wall, and they followed the tunnel behind the wall. Periodically they ran into clusters of flustered rat men, and they casually wiped out any that did not flee fast enough.
They found a barred door, and left it alone until they’d knocked a few more rat-men down. Then they opened it and explored, finding an alligator pit. Taking another tunnel from the pit, they found more rat and blew them away.
Rain fell in the stone tunnels, a leftover from when this area was full of holy energy.
Challenge of the Bull
Something roared challenge to them, and they ignored it until they encountered a rat who told them to go the other way. They let him live, and found their way to the chamber over the entry plaza. They saw two mighty minotaurs issuing challenge to them (but not seeing where they were.) Wayland and Skritt settled into position with their firearms, using their practiced skill as hunters. They blew the minotaurs away with a single crash of gunpowder, and the rat-men scattered as the minotaurs toppled gushing gore.
They explored further, and Tuleo grappled a rat-man to interrogate him. They found out the rats called themselves “Ratguard” and that their mighty leader had a wizard advisor. Also, the monster of shadow was beyond the minotaur maze, the minotaurs kept it out. The ratguard expressed some skepticism that they could successfully reason with either a ratguard king or minotaurs. They released him, and went back to the overlook to rest.
A Little Rest
Wayland wanted to rest and heal after a clash with rat-men earlier. While they were waiting, the complex’s defenses rallied, sending a massive wave of rat-men at them led by a minotaur. Close-quarters fighting in a gory stairwell saw the adventurers triumphant as Tuleo stood in the storm of blades and fangs and did not bend, supported by Vayu’s rock soldiers and others stepping in to help out. Skritt was knocked unconscious, but he recovered with minimal damage.