The group have a brief discussion to decide where to go, and agree on the northern door out of the crypt room. Ultan opens one of the doors and again Grax heads off into the shadows. The corridor soon branches into a T-junction, with stairs leading down to the right and a dark room to the left. After much skulking around and sneaking back and forth the adventurers are outside the room peering in. It appears to be an empty room, with a pile of rubble in one corner, and a large hole in the opposite one. Grax is convinced that something was moving in the darkness, but Isabella strides confidently into the room and up to the hole, grumbling about the big brave men being afraid of the.. Ahh spiders!!
Two spiders leap out of the hole, one at Isabella, another at Ultan. Isabella’s Spider fumbles badly and scrambles at the edge of the pit, exposed and unable to attack. Ultan’s Spider however promptly bits him on the leg, just as his Warhammer smashes into its head, damaging it severely. A few short rounds later, Isabella has learned that turning invisible doesn’t help against creatures with tremor sense, Ultan has learned that he can’t make saving throws to save his life [almost literally] and Bosmath learned that climbing into rubble without checking can get you stuck in spider webs, and that turning into bees just makes things worse. Though he did find some gold and a potion of Healing for his troubles! Grax learned that spiders have valuable venom, after convincing Bosmath to extract some from the corpses.
Injured and severely put out, the adventurers risk a full rest in the now cleaned out spider room. Isabella casts a ritual of Eye of Alarm, which allowed the party to rest without setting watch. On this occasion a good roll ensures the guardian isn’t wearing an eye-patch.
The party wakes up in the same room, and they are still alive (a novel experience of late). Feeling somewhat refreshed they head off towards the stairs they spotted earlier. Grax takes the lead, sneaking closer to the room beyond, where he sees a veritable library of bookshelves, tables and…oh my…lots and lots of rats. Some are quite large and mean-looking for rats, he sneaks back up to relay the info, Bosmath learns enough to identify the rats as Dire Rats, very vicious and aggressive creatures. Grax sneaks down again to get another look, when one of the Dire Rats spots him, just as he takes a swing at it with his blade. Grax is quickly swarmed by rats as they try to bite and chew on him, seemingly oblivious to his tasteless Tiefling hide. The group, having looked up the word ‘tactics’, retreats into the stairway and faces the rats two at a time. They discover that swarms of rats are very resilient to swords (and hammers), but Bosmath’s spells do more damage as they target multiple creatures.
Side note: The combat with the rats took a long time, the close quarters and the swarms halving all damage that wasn’t area or close, dragged out the encounter.
The highlight of the fight arrived with Bosmath casting a spell with Isabella in its area – a brave move given his feelings for her. However, proving the power of love, and the fickleness of Fate, he hits all the rats, and fumbles on his attack roll against Isabella – perfect result.
As if to cement Fate’s place in the Pantheon of the Gods, as Grax was about to attack [with about +6 in various bonuses] I said the immortal words “Roll anything but a one and you’re fine.” You can all guess what happened next, but unbelievably (perhaps not to the statisticians amongst you who would merely, and dully, describe it as a 5% probability with no correlation to the previous roll) I then rolled a 1 against Grax.
I beat the crap out of Ultan though, so all is well with the universe.