Ratnook Hill Walkthrough
Before you return to Tuskdale, consider clearing out the Ratnook Hill area, which can be reached by heading east and south from the Old Sycamore area. Ratnook Hill was probably too much to handle back in the day when you were exploring around the Old Sycamore the first time, but by now it should be relatively simple, and since you’re already up here well, you might as well clear it out real quick.
You’ll arrive on the southwestern edge of the area map, from which you can head either north or east, ultimately aiming to head uphill to reach the northeastern edge of the area. Along the way, however, are numerous dangerous traps [Perception 24] [Trickery 24], which are both a hindrance, and a cheap source of experience. If that’s not enough of an indicator of the danger that awaits you, the corpses lying around should be. The one near the southwestern edge of the map indicates feeding by rodents, while the one to the northeast, near a cave, possesses An Ancient Rostlandic Coin.
Disarm the traps, loot the corpse, then enter the cave to find the critters that call this area home – a pack of Wererats. While they once would have made dire threats, these Wererats offer little for you to fear. Their Armor Class isn’t better than most enemies you fight, and their Attack bonuses will struggle against your tanks and your less well-protected warriors. Should they land a hit early, however, there’s a chance they’ll score a sneak attack, which will do damage far above what their normal attacks will deal. Avoid getting flanked and you should do fine, just be wary of their damage reduction, which will give them more staying power.
Once those two Wererats are dead, another, more dangerous Wererat will join the fray. This critter will likely have buffed itself with displacement, making 50% of your attacks miss outright. This, on top of its damage reduction, will make it a hard foe to put down. While you struggle, it’ll merrily lob explosive bombs at you, dealing minor damage that nonetheless adds up quickly. Spell-buffing probably isn’t necessary, but Haste will shorten the fight considerably, as usual.
Exterminate the wererats, then loot the two by the door to score a Shock Sai +1, a Masterwork Sai, Padded Armor +1, and a Belt of Incredible Dexterity +1 from one of them, and a pair of Shortswords +1 and a suit of Leather Armor +2 from the other. The bomb-throwing rat leaves behind a Masterwork Club, a Headband of Vast Intelligence +2 a Potion of Resist Cold and a Potion of Remove Curse. Finally, loot a crate at the northwestern end of the cave to find a variety of gems, a Potion of Vanish, miscellaneous goods that a merchant will pay good coin for, and a variety of cheeses. Har. Once that crate is emptied you should also find a chest containing a Wand of Shield.
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