Swamped

Swamped
RE: Swamped
Mention head trauma
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RE: Swamped
Let's try the most powerful weapon of all: THE TRUTH

Also appeal to the kid's sense of adventure, maybe?
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RE: Swamped
"Rider did seem interested in you for some reason," you say. "Can't say I know more than that."

Marshall's face turns pale.

"Rider? As in, the Rider of the Swamp?"

"That's the one. So they do speak the name even in the cities, then. Yes, the Rider, the most fearsome warrior in this whole swamp, so named for charging into battle on the back of a bright green swamp beast. That's the officer who told me to capture you and make it look like a standard supply raid."

Their eyes light up as you mention the swamp beast.

"So the swamp beast is real? Not just a rumor?"

"Well, I don't know what people have said about it, but I've had to feed it a few times and I can tell you, it smells real enough. Not very friendly though, damned if I know how Rider keeps it under control."

You have no idea why this kid is so interested in a stupid swamp beast, but that's not really your business. You've done what you can - and just in time, judging by the footsteps you hear approaching. Probably the medic.

"Wasn't your leg hurting?"

"Oh. Right."

You watch on as Marshall makes a show of their leg being in pain and gets carried off by the medic. Well, something interesting happened today, at least.

---

You're Marshall again, and you're in the infirmary. Again.

"Well, I can't see any obvious injuries in your leg, so it's probably nothing major. Just some pain that will pass by on its own. Though I have to say, two visits in as many days is a bit much. You should probably try to be more careful with yourself."

You nod weakly.

"I guess I just don't quite have the hang of this place," you admit.

"I understand you've been rather quiet, too. You just stayed in your room when you arrived, and you haven't really talked with anyone. Is everything all right?"

How should you answer him?
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RE: Swamped
ask them about rider!
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RE: Swamped
That's a point, we should probably be more social. But it feels like we've managed to eff up most of the conversations we've been in with the other knights so far. Mostly by being pretty ignorant of the situation we've signed up for, geographically, politically, and so on; so doesn't laying low while you get a better handle on things sound better than sticking your foot in your mouth all the time?
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RE: Swamped
Let's just be as social as possible starting with giving the medic a really nice hug
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RE: Swamped
You shift uncomfortably in your seat, which doesn't escape the medic's notice.

"Anything you say to me stays between us," he says. "I want to help you, Marshall, and to do that I need to know if anything is wrong."

"It's just... I know so little about this place. I feel like a fool every time I say something." You look down at your feet. "I don't even know what all the fighting is about."

"I don't think any of us really know that," he chuckles. "But if you know so little, and you feel so uncomfortable here, why did you come?"

You breathe out a deep sigh. You haven't wanted to talk about this, but he's promised confidentiality.

"My father disappeared seven years ago. He was fascinated by this swamp and the stories surrounding it. On the night he was last seen, I saw a bright green swamp beast on the outskirts of town, and I wasn't the only one. Because of Father's, well, obsession... I couldn't help but think there was a connection."

"Bright green, you say."

"And then, when I came to the city, I heard stories of the Rider of the Swamps. A fearsome warrior mounted on an emerald-green swamp beast. Every description I heard of the creature made it sound like the one I'd seen so long ago. But nobody in town really knew more, because no one ever visits the swamp..."

"Except for the Bogknights' suppliers and new recruits. So you signed up hoping to find your father here. Perhaps that he would be the mysterious Rider of the Swamps, is that it?"

You nod a little sheepishly. It sounds silly now.

But the prisoner said the Rider had taken an interest in you... a fact which you don't feel ready to share with the medic. You just aren't sure what to do about it.

"Well, I can tell you that the Rider is real enough, and fighting on the Marshguard side. Not much more than that, though - we've only gleaned a little knowledge of how the Marshguard command structure works, and most of what we do know is classified. Not to be told to just anyone."

"Oh."

"But I can tell you the Rider's been around for more than seven years. I doubt it's your father. I can't say for sure the Rider wasn't involved in his disappearance, though."

You feel overcome by emotions. You've been keeping so much to yourself that it feels good to just tell someone about it. You stand up and give the medic a hug.

"Thank you," you say quietly. "For listening, and for telling me what you could."

The medic smiles at you.

"I can do more than that, if you like. If you want to go back, I can arrange that. As for your father, I'll find out what I can and pass it along to you. Of course, you're welcome to stay here and continue your training if that's what you really want; the choice is entirely up to you."

What do you say to that?
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RE: Swamped
Despite making a fool of yourself so much, you've already made better friends here than you ever did back home! Stay!!!!
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RE: Swamped
I mean, if the swamp turns out to be a real dead end there's nothing to say we can't leave later, right? But in the meantime we're learning valuable life skills like how not to drown in a god forsaken swamp, reading in our native language, and so on that we aren't gonna learn back on the farm.

Plus what're you gonna do when you get the message "Oh hey, found your dad, he's in the swamp after all better get back down here" from the medic? You'd just have to turn right around and you wouldn't even be prepared for swamp adventures.
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RE: Swamped
Learn a cool medicine thing from the medic also what's medic's name
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RE: Swamped
SpoilerShow
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RE: Swamped
The Medic's name is John Two-Hundred-and-Sixteenth.

They run through a lot of johns
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RE: Swamped
"The truth is, there's not much for me back home, either. And I am learning a lot here... even if some of it is the hard way. I think I just need to find my footing a bit. At least, give myself a chance to before I decide to leave."

The medic nods.

"Very well, then. In that case, I'll focus on helping you adjust. Now, you're our only trainee right now, which probably makes you feel a bit lonely. But we do have some knights who aren't far out of training. You might feel more comfortable talking to them than to the more experienced ones. I'll even see if we can get them to take shifts joining you in training."

"Thank you, er, I didn't catch your name."

The medic smiles.

"John Two-Hundred-and-Sixteenth on the official records, but that's a mouthful so people have started calling me John Medic."

"I didn't think we had over two hundred active members. I'd expect it to be more crowded if we did."

"Oh, well. The John numbers go back to before we were even the Bogknights. But Tom didn't start being a common name until recently; we had Toms before that, but only one at a time. At least, that's what John Recordkeeper told me, I don't know the full details."

"Well, thank you John. John Medic. Whatever you'd like to be called. I appreciate everything you've done."

You head back out, determined to be the best Bogknight you can be and learn more about your father. You can't help but feel this Rider knows something, but you'll have to work that out later.

In the meantime, what do you plan to do with the rest of the day?
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RE: Swamped
Let's disregard everything we just said and go about sulking in our room and being unsociable for the rest of forever just kidding

Let's explore the rest of the base, maybe there's a common room where the cool some other knights hang out.
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RE: Swamped
While you're there see what the latest hot Bogknight gossip is.
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RE: Swamped
I wonder what the John recordkeeper's name is
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RE: Swamped
Time to make a nice fire to warm you up
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RE: Swamped
Go to the rec room!
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RE: Swamped
You ask around and find out where the other knights go when they have downtime. It turns out they don't have much, but there is a lounge.

When you head over there, you find it nearly empty. There are only three knights sitting around, all of them a few years older than you. You can't help but notice that two of them seem to be rather pointedly ignoring each other.

You decide to ask the third if she knows why.

"Don't know. They're not on my squad."

"Why not? Does the whole squad not get time off at once?"

She looks at you briefly and shakes her head.

"Right, you're alone in training," she says thoughtfully. "So you wouldn't have learned about squad duty yet. Well, squads as a whole don't get a break. Instead, we rotate who's on active duty, who's in reserve watching them, and who's back here. I do have another squadmate off-duty right now, but he's not very social. Usually he just goes to his room and works on his rather noisy personal project."

You do remember hearing some strange noises on your way here, but you assumed they were just something in the swamp that you'd rather not know about.

Regardless, you seem to have struck up a conversation and now you're not sure what to do next. Do you ask her more questions? Or perhaps try to talk to one of the other two knights?
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RE: Swamped
Let's keep the conversation going, introduce yourself and all that. Umm how long's she been in the Bogknights?
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RE: Swamped
WHAT'S THE HOT BOGKNIGHT GOSSIP???
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RE: Swamped
What's that noisy project?
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RE: Swamped
Do you know any games? Like rock paper scissors? Or is that a different thing here
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RE: Swamped
Got any cards?
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RE: Swamped
"So, ah. Just what is it he's working on?"

She just shrugs.

"Don't know. I tried asking him, but he just said 'you'll see when it's ready.' Doubt he'd tell you, either. Tom Fifth tends to keep to himself."

You try to think of something else to ask, and settle on a simple question.

"How long have you been here?"

She does some quick counting on her fingers.

"Three and a half years out of training now, give or take a bit. Don't see a lot of combat, thankfully; we don't get assigned specifically to combat missions until five years out."

"What is it you're doing, then?"

"Repairs, mostly. Those walkways are sturdy, but as wet as it gets out here, there's always some boards rotting. So we spend most of the day looking for boards that need replacing, or ropes that have frayed too much, that sort of thing. Of course, since it's just rained we're mostly focused on making sure the base is ready for the next storm."

"Oh, right, I heard you had a month of rain before I got here."

She lets out a loud groan.

"Once a year. You can never be quite sure just when it's going to start, but it's regular enough that we can start preparing in advance. I dread to think what it would be like without that extra time, it's bad enough when a one-day rain takes you by surprise."

She seems a little bothered thinking about it. You remember another knight getting upset when you brought up the rain. Flooding must be a big problem here, one that it's probably best not to talk about.

So you change the subject.

"Er. So, what exactly is going on around here? I don't really know anyone, or much about what's happening... I heard about a prisoner exchange but that's about it."

"Well, it's how we usually handle these things. Sergeant Burgundy's been sent to handle the negotiations; usually they want some of our supplies as well. But apparently they stole a lifeboat so they'll just bargain over keeping that."

"Any news besides that?"

She shrugs.

"If you're that new, you likely wouldn't know the people involved. I mean, if I tell you that Tom Seventh and Elize Sunflower broke up, that wouldn't mean much to you, would it?"

"Did they?"

"Well, as far as I know they never dated, so likely not. Still, I suppose if you do want to know about someone in particular, I can tell you if I've heard anything. On one condition."

"Which is?"

She pulls a deck of cards out of her bag.

"Nobody plays Swamprats with me any more. Certainly not these two. So I'll deal out a few hands and you can ask me about anyone you like as we play. Doesn't matter if I win or lose, I just need someone to play with. I doubt you know the rules, but they're fairly quick to learn."

Seems straightforward enough. But is there anyone you really want to ask her about?
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