After receiving some healing from the city’s clerics, the heroes were approached by Governer Nighthill and Castellan Escobar.
According to Nighthill, “The main priority right now is to get our people into the keep where we can best defend them.”
“To this,” adds Escobar, “we have a plan to help that. We have an old tunnel. It was built to act as a secret means to collect water in the event we were ever under siege. If we can clear the tunnel and the area around it, we should be able to utilize it as an additional sally port to rescue our townspeople. Here is the key to the doors on either side of the tunnel.”
A page led our heroes to a cellar where the tunnel entrance was located. After shuffling barrels and crates around,the heroes formed up in attack positions on either side of the door while Dimple deftly manipulated the key using her Mage Hand spell and opened the door. Despite their readiness, the tunnel seeemed dark, dank, disused, and overall, quiet. Due to his, well, humanness, Samwell was the only member hindered by a lack of darkvision, but to assist his sight and add to his mystique, Dimple placed a minor spell on Samwell’s sword, thus making his sword a source of light for him.
Despite numerous turns in the tunnel and occasional detritus, the way seemed clear of danger until the final approach to the outer gate. Prior flooding had left piles of backwash in the tunnel where Luce detected a nest of rats. Using her innate gnomish ability to talk to the rodents, but the outside commotion and the disturbance of their nest had the rats past the point of communication and they began to swarm on Luce and Dimple, who had taken point. Dimple sent a fire bolt over the swarm and out the gate while Luce swung his quarterstaff, making a pulp of a number of the small bodies. Calling upon Tempus, Samwell attempted to burn the vermin away with divine light, but they dodged his attack. Bree’s greatsword could only push them back, but failed to cut into the shifting bodies. Just as things were looking discouraging, another pile of debris split open and another nest joined with the first. While Bree was able to fend them off, Luce felt the bite of the tiny mouths.
Samwell was finally able to burn away most of the remainder of the first nest with the few spares joining up with the second. And then, Bree set her feet to really start swinging…