The public works project around the old sewers had not been going well. People had been vanishing. Just a few at first, then dozens. Everything had ceased pending further investigation. The players were called in. The city council offered a generous fee with bonuses if the threat from below could be neutralized. The players quickly agreed.
Down in the tunnels, strange phenomena assaulted their senses. Walls freezing solid, unexplained visions, the sound of a massive heart beating so loud the walls shake. Then the rats struck.
Guardsmen with their heads nearly gnawed off piloted by mad rats crawling along the ceiling lunging down with blades drawn. Piles of rats spilling from grates, overwhelming the heroes, almost drowing them in the filth. Something was controlling or connecting the rats. Some kind of greater power.
After the brutal fight, an explosion shook the halls. The players were trapped. Poison cannisters clanked and rolled down. The sewers were filling with a deadly poison. As they fled deeper into the tunnels, they discovered a ghost chasing them in the walls. One of Groat’s lieutenants, a revenant named Slantwise, tormented the players, lashing out from the shadows with powerful psychic attacks.
Past the sewers and the old siege tunnels, the players found an ancient excavation. Even Slantwise feared to follow any deeper. Wall markings and odd coins found in the deep heralded an ancient time, stone first dug around the days of the Dawn War. These tunnels as ancient as the world itself.
Rats floated by, swollen like balloons of brain matter. They were the collective, an abberrant psychic mass of mutated rats dwelling in a great egg-shaped cavern in the hollow core of Gilded Hill. The beasts swarmed and huddled over a strange black pool of oily fluid. The players entertained ideas of poisoning the verminous swarm, but instead negotiated with the swelling sentience. The Collective agreed to free all their captives and refrain from attacking any more workers while the party agreed to arrange for trash to be dumped into the tunnels for the collective to feast upon.
The players crept out of the sewers later that day with yet another strange ally and a dozen stranger questions about the nature of the city and their place in its immediate destiny