Swamped Chapter 14 Page 10

Right. You’ve got two priorities here.

First of all, you need to check out the hill and see if you can figure out what’s going on.

Second, you need to stop this from escalating. Tensions are very high right now, and an ill-chosen word could start a fight. And you’re not sure you’d be able to stop it.

You hear a loud thrashing sound in the water, and add a third objective: calming down Rider’s beast.

Well, first things first. Defuse that powder keg.

“Bluesight! Your squad’s with me. Everyone else, stand by. I’m going to talk with the Bogknight officer.”

There’s some grumbling, but nobody’s really eager to move while the swampbeast’s having a tantrum.

You and Bluesight’s squad head closer to the Bogknights, and you call out to the officer. He waves to his troops and heads your way, with three knights accompanying him.

“What do you want?” he says.

“The same as you, I suspect,” you reply. “I want to know what happened on the Knob. But I doubt we’ll get anywhere if we’ve got a few dozen angry and confused soldiers standing around while we do it.”

“Won’t be able to find out much while that beast is in the water,” he grunts. “But one thing at a time. You’ve got a point. So here’s my offer; everyone leaves but our two squads. We’ll work out what to do from there.”

“Agreed.”

“Back to your posts, Bogknights!” the officer calls out. “We’ll handle things from here.”

“Marshguards! Return to base!” you shout back. “And someone tell the search party to get back, as well!”

Both groups head back, amidst a lot of murmurs and grumbling. You may have to answer to the command council when this is done, but finding out what happened here is more important.

“Right,” the officer says. “So with that sorted out, we may as well work together on the investigation.” He extends his hand. “I’m Alexander. As for you… well, your reputation precedes you.”

You shake his hand, though not with any particular enthusiasm.

“I’m sure it would be a pleasure to meet you under other circumstances,” you say. “For now, though, we have work to do.”

“Right. Starting with that beast in the water.”

You look down. Rider’s beast is clearly upset by its master’s disappearance. It’s bound to attack anyone who dares to enter the water, unless you can find some way to calm it. Unfortunately, you lack Rider’s talents with animals.

So how will you get past it to search the Knob?

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Suggestions:

well, the rope bridge is in disrepair ever since the rain, but if you stick to just one of its ropes…