I was there when it started, the plague, right there in that alley. I seen him, hunched old guy in a torn up, dirty brown bath robe. He had full facial hair, brown, and his hands and feet were covered with it too. His finger and toe nails were long and pointed.–Popular children’s rhyme during the global plague of 2030-2043
He walked along, saying hello to everyone. When he smiled, his teeth were all brown, yellow, and black–rotten. He started doing this weird dance, held up his arms, and stared shouting or chanting in some weird language. “Eeya,” more digging,” that’s all I can remember.
He split up a little blood, started laughing, and huge rats started flowing out from under his robes–hundreds of them, thousands. They bit everybody in the ally. I don’t know how any of the other people ended up, but I got the fever and lived–as you can see.
What? Damn you, I’m not just some crazy old guy! I was an accountant before the market collapsed again. That’s how it works you know, up, down, up, down. When it’s down the world goes to shit.—Gerald Simmons, CPA.
“The old Rat King,
Is a very bad thing,
And where he goes,
The rats he brings”
The Rat King will arrive during times of human suffering, particularly on a large scale. It appears as a man in his seventies, hunched, with short, brown fur on its face, hands, and feet, and long, pointed finger and toe nails. Its teeth are yellowed and rotting.
It will greet anyone nearby, smiling its rotten smile, then raise its arms in joyful invocation which includes “Iä! Mordiggian! At this point, it will cackle madly, a small stream of blood emerging from its mouth, and tens of thousands of very large rats will cascade from beneath its robes, racing in all directions.
Power: The Rat King’s primary power is spewing forth of tens of thousands of rats, the bites of which cause Streptobacillary RBF. See the information excerpted from the Web Site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after the entry for The Rat King’s Rats, below.
Cost: 1 magic point; 1 Sanity point
Casting time: instantaneous
The caster must succeed in an opposed POW roll with the target. If successful, the target obeys the commands of the caster without exception until the next round concludes.
The spell can affect only one individual at a time and has a maximum range of 10 yards. The commands must be intelligible to the target; the spell may be broken if a command contradicts the target’s basic nature.
Dominate can be recast, allowing a target to be controlled without interruption for several minutes. Recasting is instantaneous.
THE RAT KING, a furry man in a tattered robe
STR 80 (40/16 )
CON 200 (100/40)
SIZ 70 (35/14)
DEX 200 (100/40)
POW 100 (50/20)
HP: 27 When reduced to zero hit points, the Rat King and his robe crumble to dust and disperse.
Damage Bonus: +1D4
Magic Points: 20
Attacks per round: 1
Grapple (Brawl) 60% (30/12), gives 1 bonus die to subsequent bites, and 1 penalty die to opponent
Bite (Brawl) 60% (30/12), damage 1+db
Disease: Anyone bitten by the Rat King must make an extreme CON roll or contract Streptobacillary RBF. See the information excerpted from the Web Site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after the entry for The Rat King’s Rats, below.
Armor: 8 points of fur and tough hide.
Skills: Climb 80% (40/16), Jump 80% (40/16), Listen 90% (45/18), Spot Hidden 15% (7/3), Stealth 80% (40/16), Swim 80% (40/16), Stealth 80% (40/16)
Sanity Loss: 0/1
The Rat King’s Rats
Please remain indoors. If you or anyone else with you has been bitten, please place the red stickers provided to you in the mailings, on your windows.—Miriam Wallace, CDC Representative.
These rats, the size of large house cats, swarm all over and are very aggressive. Though summoned by supernatural means, they are otherwise ordinary and can be killed as usual.
THE RAT KING’S RATS, very large rats
STR 5 (2/1)
CON 10 (5/2)
SIZ 15 (7/3)
DEX 90 (45/18)
POW 5 (2/1)
Damage Bonus: -2 (Minimum 1)
Magic Points: 1
Move: 8 or 8 swimming
Attacks per round: 1
Bite 80% (40/16), damage 1
Disease Anyone bitten by the Rat King’s Rats must make an extreme CON roll or contract Streptobacillary RBF. See the information excerpted from the Web Site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, below.
Dodge 90% (45/18)
Sanity Loss: None
The Following Data is Excerpted From the Web Site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Page Reviewed: January 18, 2019.
Symptoms and signs of Streptobacillary RBF include:
Joint pain or swelling (about 5 in 10 people with RBF have this)
Rash (occurs in about 3 out of 4 people with RBF)
Symptoms usually begin 3 to 10 days after contact with the bacteria, but can be delayed as long as 3 weeks. By this time, any rodent bite or scratch wound that caused the infection has usually healed.
Within 2 to 4 days after fever begins, a rash may appear on the hands and feet. This rash looks like flat, reddened areas with small bumps. One or more joints may then become swollen, red, or painful.
Complications of Streptobacillary RBF can include:
Abscesses (pockets of infected fluid) inside of the body, like in the belly (abdominal cavity)
Infections of the liver (hepatitis) and kidneys (nephritis)
Infections involving the lung (pneumonia)
Infections involving the brain and nervous system (meningitis)
Infections involving the heart (endocarditis, myocarditis, or pericarditis)
About 1 in 10 people who have streptobacillary RBF infection die.
Streptobacillary RBF can be effectively treated with antibiotics, penicillin is most commonly used.
My name is CthulhuBob Lovely, I live in my childhood hometown of Columbus, Ohio, and have a son and two daughters. I help run MisCon, which occurs each year on Memorial Day Weekend in Missoula, Montana and help out at other shows.
In my younger years I had seen H.P. Lovecraft’s books in the collection of my older brother, Brian, who is also responsible for introducing me to Monty Python, Star Wars and many other things geek.
I began running and playing Dungeons and Dragons in 1977 at the age of 15, and Call of Cthulhu since its original publication in 1981.
I believe geekery and gaming can have positive effects on math, reading and writing, and social interaction skills, as well as family togetherness. I have three published stories online at