02/09/2020 Snippet, SWAMP PATROL.

Sigh. Learn by doing, friends. Learn by doing.


Tim had to admit that this part of Cursed Jersey — Whoops!, he thought. I mean, the ‘Halfling Protectorate’ — was pretty enough. Nothing like Kentucky, mind you. In fact, around here it was more or less the opposite of the Free State: swamp instead of mountains, and the air had a salt tang even this far inland. The Dire Critters were worse, too, but you had to expect that. For centuries, the Universal Dominion had used what was now the Protectorate as a proving ground for their curse spells. The Dominion might be now too busy losing a war for its life to keep doing that, thank God, but that sort of damage wasn’t going to get fixed in a day.

Tim took point and had Nora navigated. You learned by doing in the Scout Rangers, and the halfling needed the practice in telling somebody how to get from Point A to Point B without getting them both lost. This far into the training, she was handling it a lot better than she thought she was, which Tim would have to work on. It could be just as bad to underestimate your skills as overestimate them —

Tim stopped, suddenly. Behind him, Nora took a step or two more as her own nose warned the halfling of an unpleasant scent. Rank, vaguely chemical, and just a little unsettling; “You smell that? Tyrant Bee,” Tim said over his shoulder. He talked normally, but carefully. “Not fresh, though.”

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