Swamped Chapter 81 Page 4

It’s a compass, you think. But you can’t make any sense of the symbols on it, and the needle’s snapped in two.

Maybe it comes from the same country the book does. Not that you have any more idea of why a prisoner would leave it here. Surely the Master would search the cell?

No, wait. He wouldn’t personally search it, because it’s antimagic. He’d send someone without magic to search it instead. All a prisoner would have to do is bribe or fool that servant.

So maybe this book and broken compass are important somehow? Or at least something their owners wanted to keep out of the Master’s hands? Seems worth looking into when you get a better chance.

Of course, your main question is how to get that chance. It’s not as if Carma trusts you, and she’s calling the shots around here. Then again, it’s also not as if persuading Ash to let you go somewhere else is out of the question; you just need to convince him it’s going to be good for him somehow.

Thing is, you don’t even know what you’d be doing if you left, let alone how to sell Ash on it. So maybe you should give that a little thought.

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Ask Ash if the vehicle has a galley or something where we could all sit and get some nourishment while we wait for Carma’s battle with the gods to resolve itself. It’d be good to get Marshall and Long out of here and make sure they’re healthy.

As for what’s in it for Ash to help you… well, Carma didn’t say to keep you here, just to keep an eye on you. And if she comes out on top in her heavenly contest, there’s a chance she’ll want help from all of us to oppose Shume and his ilk. And she may need that help sooner than she realized, so its to all our benefit if Marshall and Long are active and alert.

And look at it another way… she may lose her contest with the gods. Her whole plan could fall apart. In that case, we need allies and an escape plan. Our odds are better together. Surely by now Ash has seen that Long is not his greatest enemy, nor the Marshguards his most dangerous, with the Master running amok and the gods in reprisal.