AREA 6-2D – THE RAT WARREN
This entire maze has become infested with rats. Check for a wandering monster every time the PCs pass the entrance to a rat tunnel and once for every five minutes they spend in the maze. The rats here will generally not seek combat unless threatened or cornered, but if the PCs kill any rats, any rats they meet from that point on will be automatically hostile.
1-4 3d6 normal rats
5 2d6 normals rats and 1d6 dire rats
6-20 No encounter
The small tunnels on the map can be moved into by a Small character hunched over (half speed, -2 penalty to attack rolls and AC). Medium-size characters can crawl into these spaces with a successful Escape Artist check (DC 20, 5 ft. per move action, -4 penalty to attack rolls and AC). Creatures Large or larger cannot navigate the tunnels.
POINT A: This rat tunnel is abnormally large. Small characters can move normally; Medium-size characters can hunch over in them; and Large characters can crawl through it. The tunnel descends underneath area 6-3 before curving back around and up into area 6-3 through one of the rat tunnels shown on the map there.
POINT B: These tunnels lead to a twisting maze of rat warrens. Any character entering the tunnel has a 50% chance of ending up back where they started and a 50% chance of ending up at the other location marked B on the map. Assume a trip through these tunnels takes 3d6 minutes.
POINT C: This abnormally large rat tunnel (see point A, above) twists and turns for perhaps two dozen yards before ending in a small cavern which serves as the den of an ancient, crippled wererat by the name of Damien. His fur has turned entirely gray and his eyes are the milky-white of the blind. He is tended by the rats of this maze, and if the PCs have harmed any of them he will be automatically distrustful and hostile towards them.
Otherwise, if they handle the encounter correctly, the PCs could gain valuable information from this craft old rat (in exchange for precious metals and pretty baubles; or a vow to destroy the Spider Queen, see below).
BACKGROUND: Damien was outcast from the wererat pack on Level 1 years ago, after angering the Spider Queen on Level 6A. The Spider Queen had him hurled from her lair, shattering his bones on the cold stone of area 6A-1. Damien was carried away to safety by his faithful rats, but he has (naturally) carried a burning resentment towards the Spider Queen and her minions ever since.
INFORMATION: Damien can give the PCs a wide range of information:
* He knows five rumors from the rumor tables for the dungeon.
* He can give the PCs detailed information on the entirety of Level 6A, although any maps he draws for the PCs will be inaccurate in several regards (it’s been years since he was down there). In addition, while he’s aware of the “wizard tombs” on the level, he and the other rats always kept a healthy distance from them.
* He CAN’T tell the PCs how to get to Level 6A. His rats collapsed the rat tunnels leading there when they brought him here.
* He also knows the entirety of Level 6 with the exception of areas 6-7 and 6-8 (neither he nor his rats have ever dared the tombs) and the mazes at 6-2A and 6-2B (although he knows about the mustard jelly and the phantasmal piercers – they’re specifically why he and his rats don’t go into those mazes). He can give the PCs very accurate maps of 6-2C and 6-2D.
* Damien knows that the river flowing through 6-16 and 6-14 passes down through Level 7A to “a place of death” (rats don’t come back). He knows that the sinkhole in 6-15 leads to “the gates of hell” (he’s seen them). And he knows that the cave in 6-10 leads down to “a bunch of caves which are nice, but far too difficult to get to”.
STATS: Use the standard wererat stats from the MM.
TREASURE: Secreted away amongst the general filth of Damien’s den there a number of gems, trinkets, and coins, with a total worth of perhaps 250 gp. Damien guards his “horde” zealously.
EXITS: Several rat tunnels lead away from this den before ending up in Area 6-16. Damien is very concerned at the thought of the goblins in 6-16 exploring these tunnels and finding his den, so large packs of dire rats have been patrolling those tunnels and attack anything coming through them.
POINT D: This abnormally large rat tunnel (see point A, above), continues for about fifteen feet before narrowing down to a normal size. After ten feet it takes a sharp turn to the left and then widens out again, leading to the western-most rat tunnel on the north side of area 6-16.
POINT E: This rat tunnel leads to a twisting maze of rat warrens with no other exit. Anyone going in wanders for 3d6 minutes only to emerge back at this point again.
This series was continued with the Mazes from Level 7A.