Shapes crawl in the darkness of low-ceilinged cellar, choked with crates and barrels. Rats. Hundreds of them, many having grown to disturbing proportions. They swarm over every surface, lurk in every shadow. Gnawing, gnashing teeth, spreading filth and disease. The darkness is filled with the chittering of rats.
The heroes push forward into the cellar, red, mucus-rimmed eyes reflecting the intrusive torchlight. Massive, spiked rodents stalk out of the shadows, leading the less mutated of their kind against the intruders. The mass of tinier rodents prove to be as much of a threat as the larger varieties, swarming into the armor of the heroes, ripping away at flesh, latching on and gnawing away with hundreds of tiny mouths.
During the pitched battle, heavily-armored Sir Samuel crushes the larger monstrous vermin with righteous fervor, his plated armor making him impervious to their gnashing incisors. However, the knight fares far worse against the swarms of smaller ones. Seemingly limitless in number, they flow under his shield and into the gaps in his armor. The mighty knight is brought low by the sheer weight of filthy rats.
Calling up knowledge unfit for the minds of mere mortals, Arem imparts a single Word to the mind of the swarm. There is a pause, as the echoes of the unspeakable blasphemy against reality registers with the tiny, diseased rats… and much the swarm turns in upon itself, horrifically devouring each other until the last, blood-spattered rodent tears itself apart trying to devour itself.
The savage warrior Jurak, skin as thick as an ox, deals only slightly better against the biting horde than Sir Samuel. Relying on his natural resilience rather than armor, he finds himself covered from head to toe in bite and scratch marks. Strength flagging, his alter-ego comes to the fore, calling up a curse of unnatural flame to consume the rodents. With Jurak’s own body coursing with residual burning energies, the demon carelessly tosses the warrior into the remaining horde of rats, smashing and incinerating the rodents at the cost of Jurak’s health. In his weakened, bleeding state, disease begins to fester.