Swamped Chapter 17 Page 9

“Hang on,” you say. “You don’t want to be on the Council.”

“Yeah, but I’ll take it if nobody better’s available.”

“No, no, don’t you see? You said it yourself: Mudviper’s the best choice. I couldn’t agree more. So why, exactly, aren’t we pushing for her to take the job?”

Crosswinds folds their arms.

“Maybe you’re behind on the news. They were sold on her loyalty. Even Razor. But they declared her incompetent for command. Sick joke, I know. But the decision’s been made…”

“No, they’re just angry the raid failed and looking for someone to take it out on. Mudviper was just a convenient scapegoat because she delivered the message they didn’t like.”

“Don’t disagree. But the Council’s not keen on changing their minds.”

“Oh, it’s a tall order, but hardly impossible. Sure, Razor’s got a grudge, and I don’t expect him to drop it any time soon, but we only need three. Claws shouldn’t be hard to persuade; she’s pretty sure the raid was a mistake anyways. Maybe she’s upset about Rider, though, so it would be good if we could find out more about what really happened to him. Mantis – he’s not that hard to grasp. What he appreciates is faith – not in the gods, per se, but in something. If we persuade Mudviper to actually talk to him, I think that would be enough to win him over.”

“Good luck with that,” Crosswinds sneers. “And there’s still Bigfoot to contend with.”

“Look, I know she usually sides with Razor. But I knew her before the council days. She was my squad leader for a while, even. And she thought the world of Mudviper in those days. I don’t think the fact they hardly ever see eye to eye has changed that. The one catch is, she’s got to think it’s her own idea. She never much cared for other people telling her what to do; that’s probably why she aimed for the council in the first place.”

Crosswinds just gives a dismissive grunt.

“And none of that’s going to mean a thing if you can’t convince them the mess wasn’t Mudviper’s fault. And they won’t accept it was their own.”

“No? Then how about the incompetently-led squad that got four members captured by the intruders? The fact the Bogknights made it all the way here is the main reason why the attack was so readily disrupted.”

Crosswinds looks at you for a while.

Then they burst into laughter.

“What’s so funny?”

“It’s just… I’m seeing now why Mudviper recommended you. It’s not just that you put a solid plan together there, that’s more than I thought you had in you. But look, the whole council is concerned with covering their own arses, and here you are tellin’ me about your plan to just get up and moon them all. It’s a riot!”

You’re pretty sure that’s a compliment, but you don’t know how exactly you feel about that.

“Look, are you going to help out with this or not? I can’t do this alone…”

And, of course, Crosswinds has disappeared, as they’re prone to doing.

Well. You’ll worry about the plan later, you suppose. For the moment, what are you going to do?

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time to swallow the bitter pill + your pride for the greater good


news that the council is checking you out is starting to spread…it might be prudent to check in with Feldspar and see if Mudviper was able to send that shield down. You wouldn’t put it past Gray-maw to “threaten” you to keep away from the council. Problem is, to Grey-maw, “threaten” means “break some limbs”.