Swamped Chapter 12 Page 27

You decide that it’s best if he leaves with a sense that you’re the one in control.

“Agreed. But don’t you dare try this again – we’ll be ready for you.”

“Ha. That, we will see.”

The Marshguard releases the hostage, carefully steps off the walkway, and swims off.

You let out a sigh of relief.

“Are you all right?” you ask the hostage. He nods, but you can tell by his breathing that he’s more than a little on edge.

“Head back to base,” you say. “Tell them you’re safe. And let’s do a headcount… I’m sure Sergeant Greenwoods was patrolling around here, and there’s no way she’d ignore an alarm. Let’s see if anyone else is missing.”

You find two others missing, but it’s not long before you locate them all. They’re unconscious, evidently due to blowdarts.

Fortunately, more knights are being sent out, so the patrols don’t suffer much from carrying the three of them back to the infirmary. Seems they’re doubling up patrols so nobody will be isolated. That should hopefully deter the Marshguards from attacking, but you can’t be sure.

You hope the group that headed into Marshguard territory makes that chance considerably more certain.

You’re Marshall again. You’ve gone further in; you can see the Marsh Fortress from here.

You’d heard of the place, but you never realized how big it is. It dwarfs your own base, though you can see that it’s not as well-constructed. There are more than a few hastily-patched holes; you wonder if the place ever has trouble with greatrats.

For that matter, you wonder just how effective it is at keeping rainspawn out. Hopefully you won’t find out.

Of course, there are even more guards here. There’s at least a dozen patrolling just outside the main gate, not to mention a few watchtowers some distance out.

Right now, Dean and Walter are arguing. Dean thinks it’s best if you make them think there’s a sixth member of your group, so the rest of you can get captured and they’ll waste hours looking for the sixth in the fortress. Walter thinks they’ll be able to work out from guard reports that there’s only five of you, especially if they find Corvus’ group, so it’s best to actually get someone into the fortress.

The rest of you are trying to make up your minds. Which approach do you prefer? Or do you have a different idea entirely?

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