Swamped Chapter 17 Page 19

You can’t help but think about how much easier this sort of problem would be for the Bogknights. All you’d have to do is explain that it’s a matter between family, and that would more than likely be that.

But that’s not how it works in the Marshguards.

Everyone here has left the outside world behind. The Marsh Fortress is their home, and the Marshguards are their family.

A few keep in touch with their families on the outside through letters. Most don’t, and not just because they can’t read or write. It’s because the swamp is all they have now.

And of course, there are plenty of Marshguards who found that their families were the problem in the first place.

You can’t say for sure what happened to Rivers before she came here. But you’ve seen the look in her eyes whenever someone mentions any sort of relative around her. Even when people call her and Starling sisters.

You can’t help but wonder what drives that resentment in her. But, Marshguards don’t pry into each others’ pasts. Not even Sieve would cross that line. It’s her business; yours is just to see to it that she doesn’t let it get in the way of her orders.

Bah. You’re no closer to having any idea how to handle this. Maybe you should take a step back, and think about just what you know about Rivers. It might give you a better idea of the approach to take.

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Suggestions:

she’s generally nasty and you’re pretty sure it’s not just about and around you. loves playing headgames, saying deliberately contradictory things, flirting and then acting like she never did. everyone talks shit about her.

usually someone who pushes everyone away like that is hurting

Author’s Note:

I’ve mentioned before that sometimes I have rules for the story that I haven’t really had a chance to explain somewhere. The suggestion here was completely contradictory to one of the big rules, which is that Marshguards on the whole don’t place much value on matters of family. Many of them have had to abandon their past lives completely, families included, and they don’t make a habit out of looking back. It made sense to me to establish that Rivers was especially hostile about it, to make it even clearer that this simple solution wasn’t an option.

I didn’t have any particular thoughts on her as a character beyond that, which is why I left a prompt open to suggest some of her character traits.