Swamped Chapter 17 Page 1

Well. You’ve still got one ally here you can trust. Not completely, not to the degree you trust Rider. But you’re in no position to complain.

Corvus and his squad will be in one of the spare rooms you use for briefings and debriefings. It’s not hard to find the right one; Goldtooth is standing watch outside.

“Finally done, Viper?” he asks.

“Yes, but I want to talk to Corvus. About matters Rider discussed with him.”

“Well you’ll have to wait,” Goldtooth shrugs. “Maybe a while, even. The second debriefing only started about ten minutes ago.”

“Second debriefing? Why two?”

“Crosswinds popped up just as the first finished, and said there were some more questions to ask. Don’t know what the questions were, but that’s the story. Of course, it’s Crosswinds, so you never know how long it’ll take.”

The door swings open.

“Done. Oh, is Viper taking over now?”

“Not for a full debriefing. I just want to talk to Corvus. Rider has some standing orders for him that I’ll need to address, given the new situation.”

“Knock yourself out. But don’t keep poor Goldtooth waiting too long.”

Goldtooth just grumbles.

“Don’t worry about me, we’re expecting lots of debriefings today after that mess last night. I’m already expecting to be here until evening.”

“I’ll try not to take too long, regardless.”

You step in, and dismiss everyone but Corvus. He lets out a groan as the rest of the squad walks out. You shut the door when they’re all through.

“Am I ever going to be able to leave here?” Corvus moans. “I’m starting to wonder if I’d have been better off in the Bogknights’ cells.”

“I need to talk about the order Rider gave you,” you explain.

“Can’t he do that himself? Or is he busy feeding his beast?”

He’s behind on the news.

“Rider disappeared last night. You didn’t hear yet?”

“Nobody thought to tell me! What do you mean, disappeared?”

“I mean, Captain Long challenged him to a duel, and the duel ended with both of them vanishing. We don’t know much more than that.”

“What the hell! Rider’s gone? I can’t believe it!”

“That’s why I need to talk to you. The new Bogknight you were after – we’ve got them in a cell. But the council’s ordered me not to talk to them without a councilor present.”

“Are you telling me to do your dirty work?” Corvus sighs. “You know perfectly well I’ve got no clue why Rider’s interested in this at all. And I don’t especially want to know, either.”

“No, I wasn’t planning to send you in my place. I’ve got news you need to know. For a start, I recommended you to take Rider’s place on the council.”

Corvus just stares at you.

“Have you lost your mind? There’s no way I’m fit for the Council! And even if they somehow accepted me, I’m not getting involved in this mess with the newmuck just to help you. Not even for Rider’s sake.”

“That wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, either.”

“Then what the hell do you want me to do? Just get to the point already!”

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i’ve got this great scheme to take down razor…


It might mean you’ll have to fight Gray-maw, since Razor is probably pushing to put her on the council, and Mantis just loves setting up his “trials”.

And you are fit – at least to hold Rider’s seat, keep the council in balance and…

The real issue…Bog Hill has borrowers, big ones. Rider told me to look for signs while I was there and whatever it was he suspected was on point. There’s something big going on behind the scenes. Rider said that the swamp was “hurting”. It’s possible that either some bogknights or marshguards or both are contributing, or even causing this to happen. We need someone on the council who can listen and observe. Rider knew you were trustworthy. He would have made the same call.

Oh, and guess who was acting commander when I was over at the Bogknight base?