Wild Rat Chase
In this adventure the players will meet a King who has been turned into a rat by his evil Vizier. They will need to reach the highest floor of Vizier’s magical tower to acquire the magic wand that can turn the King back into a human. They will need to overcome Vizier’s minions and magical traps of his tower.
- Characters meet the rat that gives them the scroll of Speak With Animals, explains the situation, and asks them for help.
- They meet Vizier’s minions who have been chasing the rat.
- They make their way through the city streets to the castle (where the Vizier’s tower is).
- They find a way through the guarded castle’s gates, or hidden catacombs.
- They make their way through the floors of the tower (filled with magical traps).
- They turn the King back into a human, and confront the Vizier.
- They receive rewards from the King, and decide the fate of the Vizier.
The players begin on a ship, about to arrive at the port.
You have been sailing for several weeks now, your course is Cypress, the capital of Anglecynn, the biggest city on the whole continent. At this point you’re so tired of the ocean, you sincerely hope to never see a drop of water again in your life. Luckily, today is supposed to be the last day of your travels, you’re about to arrive.
You’re sitting at an old grimy table, on a middle deck of a ship, waiting for the miserable journey to end. A piratey-looking sailor, with eyepatches on both of his eyes, comes up to you, pours himself a mug full of rum, and drinks it down in one gulp, and asks “: “What brings you to Cypress, mateys? And what do you look like? I’m really out of the loop here.” He points, sadly, at his eyepatches.
(It’s time to introduce your characters)
We see land!
Sailors notice the land, we’re about to arrive:
As your conversation continues, suddenly you hear the voice from the upper deck “Land! We’ve made it! Thank the gods!” You weren’t sure you would, successfully sailing to your destination in the medieval times is always a coin toss. You hear many excited voices and commotion from the upper deck.
Prompt the players to go up to the upper deck and take a look:
The sailor stands up from the table “Alright, mateys, I’ll go up, take a loo…” he cuts himself off, “Smell some fresh air, I guess” he finishes sadly. “Follow me if you wish to see the City in all of its glory”
Arriving into the Port
Description of Cypress:
You walk up to the top deck of the ship, look ahead, and behold the glorious city of Cypress. A huge castle with white walls at the top of the cliff, and the city surrounding it. The city looks quite a bit scruffier than the castle, but it’s the most impressive one you’ve seen so far. Soon enough, your ship will arrive and dock in the bay.
Description of the Port:
You arrive at the port, the ship docks, and you finally feel the firm ground underneath your feet. You see many sailors running down the gangway onto the bustling boardwalk. Some of them drop on their knees, crying, kissing the earth. It’s been a long time for these dudes. Many ships are in this port, people are walking around, delivering cargo to and from the ships, selling their wares.
Meeting the Rat
Players encounter the rat:
Amid all the hustle-and-bustle, you notice something very unusual - a fat ginger rat is scurrying directly towards you. It’s noticeably distressed. In it’s little teeth, it’s carrying a scroll. You hear agitated squeaks. “Squeak squeak squeak!”
Players read the scroll:
It drops a scroll into your hand. You determine it to be a scroll outlining a spell “Speak with Animals.” Whoever touches it and reads it, shall gain the ability to speak to any animal for an hour. Works on multiple people.
The Rat tells players it’s story. The King turns out to a bit of a self-important condescending impatient jerk, but still sympathetic enough to be worth helping (or he promises players much gold and favors).
Once the spell is complete, you hear the Rat’s frantic squeaking turns into comprehensible speech:
- “…to you! Come on! Just read the damn scro…” the rat notices changes in your expression “Can you… Can you understand me now? Finally!”
- Don’t you see? Don’t you get what is going on? Traitors! Backstabbers! Charlatans!
- What am I? What am I? I’m the king of this bloody kingdom, that’s who I am!! And you must help me! You’re the only ones who can.
- My vizier, Jafar, the treacherous bastard, has turned me into a rat and he’s currently sitting on my throne ruling my kingdom! Consolidating power.
- You must help me retrieve his wand of transfiguration, that’s the only way to turn me back. He keeps it in his tower, the tower is in the castle.
Meeting the Minions
Zug is a half-orc that was tasked with guarding the rat, and he’s now really woried he’ll be in trouble because the rat has escaped. He’s simple but loyal (think Kronk from The Emperor’s New Groove).
The rat is interrupted, and looks back behind it. “Oh no they’re here!”
You feel the earth underneath your feet slightly tremble and hear thud-thud-thud of heavy footsteps. You see a huge figure of a half-orc running towards you, his eyes locked on the rat.
The first thing you notice about him is his huge heap of beautiful brown hair, it’s like, what shampoo is this guy using to make it so magnificent? Anyway, the second thing is a huge club in his hand that half the size of your body. It seems to have a few blood stains and someone’s teeth stuck to it. He stops a few paces away from you, panting, looks around, and notices the rat.
Zug will do his best to negotiate with the players, but if he senses it’s not working he’ll skip to violence:
- Um… Hello… I am, uh, Zug. This rat belongs to the Master, please step aside, I’ll go ahead and take it back now.
- Zug will be in so much trouble.
- It is of great sent-ee-mental value to the Master. Negoni, netogi, negonitate!
- I must get it, you see, Mr Jafar told me to guard it, Zug will be in so much trouble if he finds out it escaped.
Players can fight him, or fool him, or even befriend him.
Angry old Hag, Jafar’s main minion/partner. They both have blackmail on each other and they both owe favors to each other. She was the one who has found the wand and helped Jafar to execute his plan. Now she’ll stop at nothing to get the King back. She’s frail but really smart. (Izma from The Emperor’s New Groove).
You see an old woman catching up with Guz. And when I say old I mean fucking OLD, like she was born before calcium was invented. She is surprisingly spry though.
- Guz! What the hell are you doing? I’m, uh… I want to get the kin.. I mean rat, but they won’t give it. So hit them on the head with a stick and take it! I was trying the, uh, diplomacy. Just get the rat you idiot! Okay…
- Pazuzu! Where the hell are you, you useless animal! Get the rat, get the rat!
- You kids, give me the rat! I don’t have time for your nonsense.
A gargoyle with a difficult personality. He will be circling the skies above the city, making it necessary for players to stay hidden as they make their way to the castle.
You see a strange shadow flying high in the atmosphere. Too large for a bird, too small for a blimp. What is it? You have no idea. It circles around, ominously, then begins to descend in the direction of the hag.
If the scene with Zug/Gretchen will take too long, he’ll join the battle, try to capture the rat, and return it to the Vizier’s tower. If the players escape before this happens, or defend the rat, the rat will be able to help them find the castle, give them tips, tell them about secret catacombs. Otherwise they’ll need to make it to the tower on their own, and resquie a rat along with the wand.
The rat will tell the players which way to go, the biggest challenge is to get through the city unseen from the sky.
City streets are pretty unremarkable:
People are bustling around, going by their daily business.
Players can find a magic item shop, weapons shop, potions shops, a tavern.
Players arrive at the city center. To reach the gates(or catacombs) they have to cross a wide open area not covered by buildings, without being seen from the sky.
You arrive at the town square. You see the castle gate in the distance.
City gates are heavily guarded. Players will have to somehow sneak or talk their way through the guards(it looks like fighting through them is not something players can survive)
The draw bridge is down, but the gate is guarded by two guards. Guards:
- Stop right there! State your business!
If the players tell the truth:
One guard turns to another one:
- That is the stupidest lie I have ever heard, huh, bobby
- No doubt.
If the players are really stuck, they’ll see a peasant name Gunther giving them a look. He will offer to sneak them through the gates inside one of the barrels he’s delivering for the feast, as long as they give him a very valuable item, and name their first born after him.
You notice one of the peasants is trying to look like he’s just minding his own business, but his eyes actually dart at you, he seems to be observing you. Hey fellas. I’m Gunther. I see you want to get into the castle. I can help cha, I can sneak you in my cart, inside the barrels. But it’ll cost cha.
The king may tell the players about the secret passege to the castle through the catacombs, if they ask. There’s a door to the catacombs underneath the bridge. The door is locked. Inside the catacombs it’s dark, and if you feel like adding an extra challenge, there can be a pack of dog-sized rats with glowing eyes. Also, one of the tunnels may have collapsed, and the players may need to move heavy stones out of the way.
You see small points of light glowing in the dark. As you come closer, you see it’s the eyes of a bunch of mean looking dog-sized rats.
After players make their way through the catacombs or through the gate, they see Jafar’s tower:
You enter a castle, and have no trouble noticing a tall, slender, magnificent tower that is, well, towering over you.
The only way into the tower is through the giant metal gates. They are sealed by magic, they have no obvious lock, but they have a handle in the shape of a snake, and a bell.
You see a door handle in a shape of a snake. Small emerald eyes reflect the sky, making it seem almost alive. If the player touches the snake handle, it comes alive and bites them. Now they’re poisoned, and will lose one HP per minute, until they find the antidote (Laboratory in the tower has a lot of potions).
Door bell answers in an autoresponder voice and lets them in:
Say “One” if you dare to request an audience with the Vizier. Say “Two” if you come bearing gifts for his lordship. Say “Three” if you feel unworthy to even be in his presence. Say “Four” if you and would like to take this opportunity to walk away before incurring his wrath. Say “Five” if you would like to proceed against your better judgement.
The first floor has a receptionist (clay golem) sitting in the middle behind the table. Next to the walls are 5 large empty suits of armor - the security system. If the receptionist feels threatened, they can activate them, making them come alive and attack the players.
The room seems unnaturally enormous, way larger than the tower looks from the outside. You see a square table, and behind it a small clay golem. It seems to be polishing it’s nails and staring at a small hand-held mirror, talking to someone on the other side “And I told him, not today mister. And then he was like, I don’t care. And I was like, ugh, You know what I mean?”
The receptionist will ask them if they have an appointment, and check it’s records to see if what they’re saying is true. Players can try lying, using illusions, or subduing it before it can trigger the alarm.
After receptionist has been dealt with, the players can go up to the next floor by using the staircase.
The second floor of the tower is the Vizier’s office:
The room looks like the office where he holds political meetings. It has a large desk in the center, papers, all neat and tidy. A crystal globe standing off to the side. There’s a portrait of a man with big mustache on the wall, his eyes, and his moustache, seem to follow them wherever they move. A set of diplomas and impressive looking papers hang around the painting. “Most Creative Use Of A Bigby’s Hand Spell”, “In recognition of contributions to the Most Noble Art of Conjuration”, “Graduate of the Arcane Arts at Samadar’s School For Gifted Youths”. Portrait, crystal on his desk.
If a player decides to activate the crystal (by touching it and funneling 1 point of energy into it), they will see a vision of many things, among them - the location of the wand and Vizier sitting on the throne:
When you touch the crystal, the time and space unfold in front of his vision. He sees flashes of images. A giant empty cathedral. A dragon sleeping on a pile of gold. A round room with a desk, somewhere high above, with a glowing rod laying among it’s contents. A vampire drinking blood from the neck of a young maiden. A tall slender man sitting on a throne. A city the likes of which you’ve never seen, gleaming with light, with buildings as tall as the sky, horseless carriages driving back and forth on the straight lines of it’s roads. A giant tentacled creature dwelling in the depths of the ocean. An old man playing fetch with his dog.
The next floor is Vizier’s laboratory.
It looks like a study, or a laboratory. A desk filled with vials and bubbling potions(unlabeled). A pentagram on the floor, with a tiny demon-like creature sitting in the middle, looking bored. A small cage with an ordinary looking coffee table sitting inside it, whimpering pitifully.
If the players decide to open the cage with the animated coffee table - it will happily run off to it’s freedom. If they interact with the demon-like creature, it will say something mean in the language they don’t undersand, show them a rude gesture, and get back to looking bored.
One of the potions contains the antidote to the snake handle’s venom, but potions are unlabeled. Drinking them randomly will produce random effects - reversing the gravity for the player, making them hallucinate, making them fall in love with whatever they’re looking at, etc.
The next room is where Vizier studies parallel dimensions:
There’s a huge telescope in the middle of the room, maps of the starlit sky, and what looks like a model of some kind of planetary system. The room is illuminated by ominous rays of red light streaming from the window.
If the players look out of the window, they’ll see:
As you pass by the window, you inadvertently see a deep blue sky, above the dark red ocean. Three red moons illuminate the strange scene.
When a player steps into the red light:
You feel something deep inside of you awaken, the primal rage, the thirst for blood. You look at your companions. Why have you never thought your companions would make for a good breakfast?
The window can be blocked by something opaque.
At the top floor the players will find the desk with a wand laying on top of it:
On the table nearby you see a rod you saw in your vision. The rod emits green light and a quiet humming sound. Once you take it, you feel mighty and powerful, like anything in the world could be reshaped according to your will. You hear the whale of an alarm, and soon, footsteps from the lower floors of the tower.
In the middle of the room is the portal gate:
In the center of the room you see a large obsidian circle, large enough to walk through, standing vertically on a pitch black pedestal. It looks like a strange gate.
Transforming the King
When the rat sees the wand:
The Rat jumps up and down on your shoulder, forgetting any shreds of the kingly dignity it had left, unable to contain it’s excitement.
When a player activates the wand to transform the rat:
With the sound of thunder and lightning, the room fills with the blazing green light. Streams of mana and energy surround the Rat in a blinding whirlwind of light and power. You can barely see the shape of the Rat growing, changing. Surprised squeaks gradually lower in pitch, becoming shrieks and then grunts of a human. As the magic and might begin to settle, you behold with your own eyes the majesty of the true king of this kingdom in his natural, human form.
If the players activate the portal gate, it will open a wormhole into the throne room:
After you finish your manipulations, the space inside the circle seems to disappear, as if the hole has been torn through the universe, and on the other side, you see the throne room, a tall slender man sitting on the throne, and a few dozen of guards around him.
Jafar looks surprised and shocked
“Your Majesty! I’m so happy to see you again! Everybody, rejoice, the lost king has returned!”
If by the time players are in the throne room the king is still in the rat form, the guards will follow Vizier’s commands, otherwise they will do what the King tells them to.
Vizier will try to talk/grovel his way to King’s mercy, or set the guards on players and try to fight them.
Conclusion and Rewards
Once the Vizier has been defeated, the King will attempt to save face and take credit by claiming that it was his “brilliant leadership” that has secured this victory, but in the end, will be grateful to the players, and grant each player a request (if they remind him that he owes them).
“Is the gratitude of the king not enough for you people? Fine!” The King snaps his fingers in the direction of one of his servants. “Ignacius, dash to the treasury, fetch us some of the finest [whatever players ask].
This adventure was made by the Adventure Writer’s Room community. We are a group of GMs who meet in the discord voice chat, and challenge ourselves to improvise a one-shot adventure in 2 hours. Our goal is to brainstorm fun ideas and improvise stories together in a chill, lighthearted, no-pressure environment. It works, it really helps with the writing, and it is super fun.
We’re looking for some friendly and creative people to join us!
See the playtest of this adventure here.