02/13/2020 Snippet, SWAMP PATROL.

This one I think doesn’t need much more content, but it does need more revisions.


But there was the hole. And it was now making Tim’s thaumameter give off unpleasant sounds. One of the halflings — Marcus Gamatoo; could actually read Old American a little better than Tim could and showed some promise at camouflage — asked “So, Ranger-man. What’s that sound saying?”

“That something down there is eating magic,” Tim said calmly. “Hear how the sound is going up and down the scale? Means that whatever’s down there eating it ain’t eating it regular.”

“Is that bad?” asked Nora. “It sounds bad.”

“Eh, if you’re made of magic it’s bad,” said Tim. “And it might be bad anyway. But we’re okay for right now.”

It was damned odd, though, and that made a quick scout at least a good idea. Tim couldn’t shut down an unstable magic anomaly himself, but he knew enough to know how to do the preliminaries. There was a mage in a Protectorate settlement only a half-day’s journey away, so he had time to go down and get a careful look-see, at least.

Tim thought about sending the halflings back, but going down into a cave alone was stupid. Besides, checking out things like this was part of what a Ranger did. A thousand years of magic had left a lot of scary problems lying around, and Cursed Jersey had gotten more than her fair share; if they were really going to be watching over their Protectorate, these folks would have to do this sort of thing on their own soon enough.

Hell, it’s better than make-work, Tim thought. Which was another reason to go down. You didn’t join the Scout Rangers unless you liked checking out things like this, either.

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