“How active are ratatosk on Midgard? Well, that’s quite hard to say. What is one more squirrel among the hundreds or thousands our eyes disregard each day?” (Lucano Volpe)
Listed below are but a few possibilities for adventures that feature the squirrel-folk.
A Gremlin in the Works (Blood Kingdom)
Sabotage rocks the construction site of the new Blood Cathedral to Marena in Varshava. Built upon the razed site of an older temple to Wotan, the new cathedral symbolizes the power of the Blood Kingdom. However, over the last month, an increasing rise of accidents and missing supplies has exploded into outright destruction and assassination. The hidden cause of the disruption is Yggdrasil’s Thistle, a band of ratatosk hunting for a living World Tree seed located somewhere in the charred roots of the dead tree at the heart of Wotan’s ruined temple.
How the PCs Get Involved
Aiding the Underground. By diverse means, the PCs receive a call for help from Vikkic Wavetail, a ratatosk of high renown. She begs the heroes to aid her friend Orrvr Toothchip in his sabotage activities at the Blood Cathedral and work with the ratatosk to recover the World Tree seed. Orrvr is one of the few survivors of the original attack on Wotan’s temple and the burning of the World Tree. However, the scarred and nightmare plagued ratatosk hides a traitorous secret allegiance with the shadow fey.
Wotan’s Revenge. The respected priestess of Wotan, Zosia Walerska, reaches out to the PCs, desperate to strike a blow against the followers of the Red Goddess for desecrating the temple. She has learned of the sabotage of the Cathedral and wishes the heroes to secure an alliance with whomever is responsible.
The Stone Heart Heist (High Jungles, Southlands)
The race is on to recover the Lalob Key and unlock a treasure hidden within an ancient World Tree stump. The city of Nangui is a dark, wondrous city built around the Stone Heart, a petrified remnant of a once mighty World Tree. Deep within the stone-like tree, twisting organic passages lead to Stone Heart’s slumbering core where ancient ratatosk hid one of their most precious treasures. Wotan’s Tear, a legendary artifact in the form of a shining golden acorn, absorbed the tears the one-eyed god shed while hanging from Yggdrasil, and it is said to bestow divine wisdom. The first wrinkle is accessing the warren of passages within the Stone Heart as it requires the Lalob Key, a druidic device lost during the rise of the Green Walker. The second wrinkle is that the PCs are not the only ones searching for the relic!
How the PCs Get Involved
Team Druid. Ufuoma Malangu, a Kushite druid, recruits the PCs to secure the Lalob Key from the dwarven ruins of Haldaheim. Once they have the key, they must slip through the defenses of the lich king, Nulu Nagoa, and enter the Stone Heart. Within the World Tree stump, ancient defenders and demonic invaders prove to be obstacles, but the greatest challenge comes from the two other groups trying to block the heroes at every turn.
Team Ratatosk. Nanja Sandtooth, or one of the other ratatosk on Midgard, hires the PCs to aid the squirrel-folk in recovering Wotan’s Tear before it falls into the wrong hands. Their first task is to secure the Lalob Key from Haldaheim. Then they must brave the ancient defenders and demons within Stone Heart to reach the core of the petrified World Tree before the other two teams do.
Team Sorcerer. The immortal eye of Nulu Nagoa turns to the treasure resting in the World Tree stump beneath his palace. The PCs can earn a fabulous treasure in magic items from the lich king’s treasury if they recover Wotan’s Tear for Nulu Nagoa. First though, they must seize the Lalob Key from the vertical dungeon of Haldaheim and venture within the Stone Heart. Overcoming ancient defenders and demons could be tricky, but so too are the machinations of the other two teams racing for the prize!
Webs in the Witch Tree (Eastern Midgard, Beldestan)
The corruption of Leng invades the massive, miles-tall banyan World Tree in the plains to the south of Beldestan. Chief among the diverse inhabitants of the Witch Tree stands the Monkey King, the earthly avatar of Monkey, the trickster god. The Monkey King, his vanaran followers, and their ratatosk allies struggle against a host of arachnid invaders sent from the Spiders of Leng, who arrived on the World Tree via portals from the forbidden plateau. The spiders enslave captured vanarans, transporting them back to Leng for processing. Recently, this included the young demigod daughter of the Monkey King!
How the PCs Get Involved
Escaping Leng’s Web. Arachnid infiltrators gather slaves from across Midgard, transporting their “acquisitions” through portals to a new redoubt in the branches of the Witch Tree in Beldestan. When the PCs fall prey to the slavers, they find themselves imprisoned in the slave pits of the Spiders of Leng. Escape would be challenging enough, but with the young vanara daughter of the Monkey King dying from spider poison and an elderly ratatosk warlord in tow, it becomes a desperate race against time.
Rescuing the Princess. Contacted by a druid in league with the Monkey King, the PCs travel to the Witch Tree to aid the vanara against the Spiders of Leng, only to witness the capture of Princess Mejaa by arachnid slavers. Pursuing the captors, the heroes enlist the aid of a ratatosk scout to venture into the stronghold of the spiders and race to board a Leng voidship before it departs. Rescuing the young demigoddess may prove to be much easier than trying to pilot an organic voidship, plummeting toward the ground!
Pay heed! Next time we shall reveal some new ratatosk NPCs!
Until then, my friends, stay squirrely.