Prior to the session I was fully expecting at least one person to die, given that in Session 9 they talked about murdering the rats and the ratfolk with the cover off. These guys can understand Common, a language most D&D races understand. Why? I made it so that after a few generations of living in the sewers and in the auxiliary water system without most of the population dying they could understand Common, and some of them evolved through [REDACTED]. They make a whole ceremony out of it and formed the Rat Nation.
Prior to the game, I put into place that this place was attacked by oozes, and in my world, they are created by powerful spellcasters. What the party doesn’t know is this: one of the water workers one of the kids got kicked when they went to the first floor on accident, two ratfolk scouts jumped a party member because they smelled blood on him, the party killed those two, the corpses were dragged out by some ratfolk guards, the Monarch sent a scout to place a letter at the entrance way, and two guards who would have talked were guarding the pothole to the next level of the dungeon. I put in place a trial for how many ratfolk and rats they kill it becomes worse. Two and they explain the misunderstanding, they get ten lashes plus community service where the loved ones of them determine one thing they do for a day. Four and they fork over most of their gold, do bonebreaking labor for a week, twenty-five lashes, no food for one day, and for three additional days community service that is chosen by the family. Six deaths, their hand is cut off, bone breaking labor for a month, a whole week of community service from the loved ones, and they have to give out all their gold. Over six deaths they will be killed.
They only killed six ratfolk as one of the new party members, I got two new ones last session, said that they were here to negotiate a ceasefire due to the Rat Nation will declare war with the above dwellers due to an attack onto them. If they failed the trial, the punishments would be offered above and they had the choice of killing the four monsters (slimes) for a reduced sentence. The two new players got a temporary truce for the other players to go down to the second and third floor of the dungeon. No rat or ratfolk will attack them as long as they don’t steal certain things, do not attack them, and if they finish their task of defeating the monsters, they will have a fairer trial. Those two learned some things and one of the players decided to come in, who one of the rats watched helped kill two of the scouts and one of the guards, and was rightfully pissed. He will be getting a harsher sentence.
Legit the whole party thought I would kill them which is why they didn’t want to take the trial option where they would be escorted without any of their weapons and armor. Their hands would be bound and they would receive trial from the Monarch. To be fair, that is a concern they would have given that they don’t know what I would do. I even told them that out of character if they die within the first three days, they could be brought back. Now if they were themselves is a whole other question. I have an NPC watching the other group in the library given that they are interested in what’s happening in there; if fresh meat dies, they’ll come running to extort as much as possible from the new soul before bringing them back. A Soul Loan shark if you will.
What the party found out was this: the ratfolk love to learn, is proud of their broken Common, there is an alternate route down to get to the second floor, there is a room with strange writing that isn’t in Common with the names of the founders of Kingston Town, and there is a very dusty potion in the room that is a light purple color with a note on it. It is written in another language that he could not understand the language. It gave a hint to what the item is but the player that understood the language wasn’t there. Not that I built the languages to be understood by the players, but I thought that it was a nice touch to include a language from an original player because it is fun to include a somewhat exotic language in D&D.