Swamped Chapter 12 Page 13

You decide to be the runner. Ever since you ran into Corvus, you’ve realized that you’re risking more than just capture. How many Marshguards know Rider is looking for you? And if they mention that, it could be a problem.

So you want to avoid being caught, and staying in one place to yell probably isn’t the best option for that. If you’re leading them into traps, though, then you’ll likely be safe.

Of course, that depends on how fast you can run. Still, you’re reasonably confident there.

“I’ll run,” you say. Mary nods.

“Yeah, it’s probably easier to yell when you can cup both hands, not just one,” she agrees. “All right, everyone get ready.”

Jackson hands Mary the end of a rope.

“I’ll pull on this when we’re set up. Then you two can get yourselves ready.” He points to a tree some distance away. “We’ll be waiting there. Good luck.”

You head over with Mary to a dark spot, while Jackson and Walter slip off to prepare their traps. Dean slips over to a position closer to the patrols.

After a few minutes, Mary feels a tug, and nods at you. You get ready, and start sprinting.

“BOGKNIGHT SPY!” Mary shouts when you’re about halfway to the tree. Out of the corner of your eye, you see one of the patrollers break patrol and start running in your direction; another two stop in place. The fourth seems to stick to their pattern, though you can’t really look too closely; you’re focused on running.

You reach the tree, just in time to hear the guard trip behind you. Jackson peeks out from behind the tree and gives a thumbs-up; you follow him behind it for cover.

You put down your long goggles to check on the patrols. Another guard seems to be running for the tree, while a third goes to help the one on the ground.

“Come on,” Jackson says, grabbing you by the arm. “That one is just a delaying tactic; the real traps are further back.”

You follow Jackson further, and soon hear two cries as he pulls on some ropes; you think the third is still chasing by the sound of footsteps, but it’s hard to be sure.

“Walter! One’s still our tail!” Jackson cries.

“On it,” you hear. There’s sounds of a scuffle; you turn around and pull up the long goggles for better vision. You see Walter holding a guard, and two others caught in ropes.

“There’s still a fourth,” you say. “They seemed to be sticking with their patrol.”

“Dean should be able to surprise them,” Jackson says. “Let’s take care of these three, in the meantime.”

You’re now Dean. There’s one guard left out of the four. You could slip past her, but it would be best to get her out of the way so the rest of your group can follow.

How are you going to handle this?

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Suggestions:

Dean is a student of a martial art modeled after animals movements and therefore needs no weapon.

Sneak up on the guard and strike her quickly in the throat, then lay her on the ground gently so she doesn’t choke. Not pleasant, but effective. (and distinctly lethal if dealt improperly)

 

The Dean uses cards. Well not actual cards, metal rectangular multitools he keeps in his coat. But he’s labeled them with card faces representing fortune and cleverness (which could also be interpreted as unworthiness and pomposity but who would read it that way?) He can throw them, or grip them (similar to brass knuckles) to give his fists a bladed or serrated edge.

This guard carries a dagger (probably a close-range fighter) and a satchel made out of…is that a swamphen’s gizzard? Those gizzards make excellent carriers for various poisons. (Considering the seeds and worms eaten by swamphens, it makes sense they’d develop a resistance). The Dean’s going to have to be careful not to get nicked by anything this marshguard is carrying.

Get in position and toss a card as a distraction – then either sever the satchel from a distance, or get in quick before they can respond.