“And so the time came to return to Midgard. The squirrel-folk, having grown fond of my presence, lavished me with gifts of food, strong drink, intricate carvings, and other treasures. With a heavy heart, I bid farewell to my hosts and began my journey. Somewhat true to form, upon reaching my home in Moredo, I discovered the ratatosk replaced my pack of fine shirts with one filled with leaves and acorns. One last prank from my furry friends.” (Lucano Volpe)
Many adventures could benefit from the addition of a few ratatosk, either as a comedic side-plot or as a method of relaying rumor, prophesy, or divine information. Below are three adventure paths involving the ratatosk and ready to be used in a Midgard campaign.
Once Upon a Time on Yggdrasil
In which our heroes team up with the ratatosk to protect the World Tree from ambitious wizards and foul cultists.
God-King Irsu Thanetsi Khamet seeks to use the mages of the Honorable Society of Portal Wizards to create a permanent Red Portal between Nuria Natal and Yggdrasil. The power and influence Khamet can garner with an unending supply of the rare flora of the World Tree knows no bounds. First, however, he dispatches agents far and wide to gather rare components for his Yggdrasil Door. Either running afoul of Khamet or acting to protect the World Tree, the PCs find themselves caught between ambitious portal wizards and ratatosk saboteurs.
Nanja Sandtooth, ratatosk warden of the Menatayni Oasis, launches a bold plan to counter Khamet’s schemes. She sends the PCs onto Yggdrasil to infiltrate a wizard encampment and replace a crucial component for the Yggdrasil Door. However, the Harbingers of the Yawning Void also have plans for the magical gateway, and their own cultists work to further the cult’s ambitions. With no one to trust, the PCs must navigate a route to victory when open fighting breaks out.
Despite setbacks engineered by the ratatosk, the Yggdrasil Door nears completion. The only hope to protect the World Tree lies in racing the cultists to a buried pyramid deep in the Crescent Desert and launching a desperate raid on God-King Khamet’s burial place.
A Fistful of Ratatosk
In which our heroes struggle to keep the machinations of revenge-seeking ratatosk from manipulating two competing factions into causing an all-out war in the free city of Salzbach.
While fighting over a rare artifact, the Company of Lorekeepers and the Lords Arcane accidently murdered an entire scurry of ratatosk. Seeking revenge, the relatives of the slain squirrel-folk launch a cunning plan to topple the entire city of Salzbach. The first stage in their scheme involves a series of attacks, assassinations, and sabotages designed to pit the Lorekeepers against the local Lords Arcane faction. The PCs enter the picture either as concerned witnesses or hired by one side or the other.
With bodies piling up on either side, the ratatosk tighten the screws, secretly hiring the lawless free mercenaries in the city to launch open attacks on both sides. The city descends into armed conflict while the PCs work to uncover the true culprit behind the ongoing attacks, but the hatred on either side blinds the various factions of the city. One possible lead brings the heroes to a network of smuggler’s caves outside the city, but the tunnels are one trap after another, engineered by the ratatosk.
Civil war erupts in Salzbach with the abduction of both Guildmaster Swanne and Borin Hirsh-Dammung. The Lorekeepers, Lords Arcane, and the troops of the Hirsh-Dammung family fight pitched battles in the streets as the PCs investigate the kidnappings. The trail leads to the ratatosk’s lair where the squirrel-folk plan to sacrifice the two nobles in order to summon the avatar of an Old One to lay waste to the entire city.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ratatosk
In which our heroes aid three former friends—a naive minotaur, a disillusioned huginn, and an unstable ratatosk—on a quest for a fabulous lost treasure.
Thirty years ago, three adventuring companions—Trarx the ratatosk, Zashul the minotaur, and Grima the huginn—managed the impossible: they stole an immense treasure from the lair of Ekbaris, an ancient gold dragon and contemporary of Mharot the Founder. However, before they could spend their loot, they were captured one by one and imprisoned. The treasure was never recovered. Recently, Ekbaris perished, and the PCs are recruited by Trarx, now possibly insane, to aid him in a daring quest. The treasure of Ekbaris rests in a portable hole, folded and hidden in a statue. The key to finding the statue rests in three parts, each possessed by one of the three former friends. The PCs must first brave the besieged city of Chamiras on Kyprion, use a forgotten portal into the Minotaur Labyrinth, and free the child-like Zashul.
Together, Trarx and Zashul possess two thirds of the key needed to recover the lost treasure, but the final piece is known only to Grima. She resides in the Prison Pits of Voggoth. The PCs, and their two employers, must travel deep into the Dragon Empire, but their progress is not unnoticed. Jabbir, the faerie dragon spymaster, also seeks the treasure of Ekbaris for his master, the Great Lord Satarah, and sends assassins against the heroes.
With all three former companions in tow, the PCs now learn the location of the statue hiding the treasure. Racing dragonkin assassins to the necropolis beneath the city of Efesis, the heroes brave undeath and draconic threats only to discover the statue was seized by the new sultan years ago and now, unfortunately, stands in the great hall of the Sultan’s Palace in Harkesh. Can the PCs contend with the arguing and betrayal of the three old adventurers as they use a Midsummer’s gala to infiltrate the very heart of the empire to filch a treasure from the claws of the dragon?
Thus, we say farewell to this series on the ratatosk. Until we meet again, my friends, stay squirrely.