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The Great Wise Rat

Deep in the labyrinth under Thornrest a strange statue was found. Standing a dozen feet tall and of an upright, bipedal rat and incongruous considering normal rats. It is dressed in a hooded, flowing robe with what appears to be embroidered hems. It is holding a gnarled staff in a paw with an opposable thumb, very much like humanoid hands. In the other paw, it is holding a large tome, open near the beginning. It appears ready to give the book to someone, with one thumb pinning the pages. The tome is also detailed on its exterior with inlays and hinges.   Viewers of the statue have said that there seemed to be an aura of peace and in the area around it, no monsters have ever been encountered. It is to one side of a large, high-ceilinged chamber with three entrances or halls leading to it.   At the time of its discovery, Thornrest had already been established and Duke Rolph Novin, the founder, had retired leaving his son Domenic as the ruling Duke. Domenic was much friendlier to Stormfort as his mother had been kidnapped from Stormfort by a slaver of Pine Valley. Even though his mother had been an orphan with no lingering ties to Stormfort, Domenic remained aware that if not for the adventurers of Stormfort that little girl might not have survived to be his mother. Thus it was that for a while there was an unofficial branch of the Adventurers' Guild which served those that wanted to explore the ruins and labyrinth farther afield from Stormfort.   Unfortunately, Mayor Runegust died years ago and there was no mention of bipedal rats in her research. Many adventurers see viewing the statue as a rite of passage, a threshold to cross before delving ever deeper into the labyrinth. Returning adventurers, if they pass by the statue, know they'll be back at the surface soon.

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