You decide to look around carefully first. Maybe it’s nothing.
You hadn’t noticed before how close the walkway was to the muck; there’s barely a foot of distance in between. You were sure there was more height closer to the base, but then again, that might just be because it’s on a hill.
You don’t see anything on the walkways, not even a fellow knight, so you take a closer look in the water.
And you think you see a shadow. One that’s getting bigger. Instinctively, you step back and reach for your slicer.
Except it’s not there. You curse yourself silently as you recall that you flung it in a rat’s eye last night, and never went to the armory for a replacement.
But much to your surprise what pops out isn’t a monster, but a Bogknight.
“Someone’s there! Thank heavens. Pull me up, quick!”
You’ve only got one arm, and he feels heavy, but you find you’ve got enough strength to pull the knight’s own hand to the surface of the hole. He braces himself against it, then grabs your arm with his other hand. You pull harder, until you hear a snap and then he starts climbing out easily.
You see that there’s a large green weed wrapped around his legs, though. He’s also rather bulky.
“Thanks,” he says, gasping for breath and untangling the thick weeds from his legs. “I was patrolling and caught a greatrat sneaking through that hole. They’re not much good at fighting while they swim, so I dove in after it. Managed to strangle it, but not before going low enough to hit the muckweed. Thought I was a goner.”
“Are you all right? Maybe you should head back to base and get to the infirmary.”
“I’ll be fine in a few minutes, but I suppose it’s best to be safe. Where are you headed?”
“Not far, then. Tell you what, I’ll take you there. Then we head back and I can tell the medic what happened.” He stands up, and pauses for a moment; maybe he didn’t get a good look at you before. “Judging by the arm, you must be the new recruit, Marshall?”
“I seem to be getting a bit of a reputation, but yes, that’s me.”
“I’m Walter. Used to be a wrestler before I heard the call of the swamp, so that’s how I usually fight. I figured I could take a greatrat in the water, but it was tougher than I thought.”
He does look stronger than most of the knights you’ve seen. You’re almost surprised you were able to pull him out, but then, you did your share of heavy lifting back on the farm.
You both walk carefully around the hole and head for the tower. Is there anything you want to ask Walter about on the way?
Ask him what muckweed is?
And why a greatrat would burrow through the boardwalk if there’s just water below it anyway
“What was it like, ‘The call of the swamp’?”
ask him on a date (quick! while he’s obligated cause you saved his life)