Mr Haverhill

Watch out, there's a Rat about! 

The adventurers are staying at a small settlement when a rag-tag band of what look like refugees arrive in a terrible state. They consist of several families, including small children, travelling with what looks like all the most important possessions they could carry with them, hastily packed onto a variety of farm animals and small cvarts, or just carries on their backs in bags or wrapped in blankets. They're obviously known to the locals by the way they are greeted, and it transpires they are residents of Wyrvale, a nearby village. They're asked what has caused them to flee, is it bandits, plague or chaos? No, it's worse than that - it's the Havelrhill Horror!

There's shock and consternation - surely he's dead by now? How did he get there? How do they know it's him? They know allright. At first they thought they could handle the situation by burning down the barns and laying down poison, but that's before they realised it was HIM! But when the rat catcher they'd hired fled in terror after he found the words "Yur Nekst!" chewed into the wood of his bedroom floor in the morning, and his dogs gnawed to death in their kennels without giving out a sound.

It turns out that Mr. Haverhill is, apprently, a rat. But he's no ordinary rat, according to reports he's twice the size of the biggest rat anyone has seen before, and as smart as any human to boot. His orrigin is uncertain. Some believe he must have been a sorcerous experiment or familiar, others say he's a demon in rat form or even an avatar of the rat god. Whatever the truth, he first came to public attention when he ravaged the town of Haverhill, but that was last years and many days journey from here. Nobody can think what has brought him to this neck of the woods.

Characteristics

STR     5    CON   17    DEX    24    SIZ      3   INT      14   POW   15   CHA    5

Hit Locations

D20

Hit Location

AP/HP

1–2

Right Hind Leg

0/2

3–4

Left Hind Leg

0/2

5–7

Hindquarters

0/3

8–10

Forequarters

0/4

11–13

Right Front Leg

0/2

14–16

Left Front Leg

0/2

17–20

Head

0/2

 

Weapons

Type                Weapon Skill            Damage

Claws                    45%                    1D3- 1d6

Bite                        85%                  1D4 - 1D6

Special Rules

Combat Actions:            4        Strike Rank:                +21          Traits:   Night Sight

Skills:               Atheltics 80%, Dodge 120%, Resilience 60%, Perception 85%, Stealth 115%, Survival 75%, Tracking 65%, Lore(Animal) 80%,  Local Language 40%, Influence 85% (halved against Humans)

Runes:             Beast(65%): Bestial Enhancement 6

                       Disorder(85%): Befuddle(2), Demoralise(2), Dispel Magic 5, Disruption(1), 

Divine Magic:    Consecrate(1), Mindlink 7,  Soul Sight(1) x 2,

Notes: Haverhill is wily and elusive, operating by stealth or though the horde of rats that serve him. Many are from his own brood, and have semi-enhanced intelligence. The smartest of them even know one or two spells of their own.  He uses his Mindlink spells to co-ordinate them. They waging covert war  mainly by night, fouling food and water supplies, killing, releasing and terrorising domestic animals, stealing small valuable objects, etc.

Haverhill is no fool. He doesn't push things too far by targeting children directly, knowing that this would bring out the big guns against him. Instead he operates more like a gangster. He has his own goals and objectives, but will turn to terror attrocities if provoked too far.

The question is, what does he want? Here are some possibilities:

  • The attack was revenge for the slaughter of his people at Haverhill. The Rat catcher in Chief responsible was from Wyrvale, and hearing of what has happened he turns up intent on a final showdown with Haverhill. The problem is that winter is coming fast, and a confrontation will likely lead to the destruction of local food supplies just as the snows start. The result could be disastrous. A local priest encourages the PCs to try to mediate between the sides and negotiate and enforce a settlement.
  •  Haverhill is actually female, and pregnant. She is trying to find a ruined temple to the Rat God that once stood in an abandoned and overgrown town nearby. Wyrvale was attacked simply because she and her followers were hungry after a long journey, and she needed a base of operations in the area. If she can find the temple and give birth there under the proper conditions, each of her offspring will have full intelligence too. She may also gain access to a cache of runes and rat magic that will enormously enhance the threat she poses. Some of the locals are still secret rat god worshipers and will try to contact and help her.