Learn to be Humble

The first night of Market was revealing to Severin. He had been hearing lots of people talk about Vecatrans lately. Eventually, it was all too clear that many of those in the village of Luisant were actually Vecatrans. This had also happened after much talking about how a good Benalian should deal with such also. Perhaps now, the secret is out, and perhaps more knew much more than he did as people now openly talked about pagan ceremonies and discussion with crones and spider spirits in graveyards.

The next thing that was unsurprising to Severin that others obviously had known was that the beavers and the Naiads were fighting each other over an artifact that somebody in the village has. Seemed to him like it might be of a major importance to the village, but everybody treated such news as if they not only known it before, but that it had no bearing on the community. At this point, if nobody else was getting worked up about it, it was to the point that Severin was beginning to think everybody must know and he was the last to find out.

The new morning at least brought some semblance of normalcy to his life. Meeting up with Etienne to go look for resources and make the survey map of where they were for the community. It was fairly normal, at least until Valentine fell down a hole. It went down into the darkness and without a rope, there was nothing that could be done. Etienne would have his map and then we could rescue Valentine.

This was all well and good until the map was completed and people split up and Severin found himself fallen down a hole in the woods while getting some mining done. Luckily, Milo was there to use his magic to slam Severin up against a wall as he fell. The other option was to fall into an orifice embedded into fleshy tunnels which was filled with a pile of ‘deep meat’. Being slammed against the far wall was by far the better option. Then he met Valentine, Cadence, and Milo who were already wandering around in the tunnels.

The tunnels were a maze of confusions and obstacles. They were not all fleshy tunnels like the ones ventured into during the previous market. Some were indeed stonelike in structure. They were all fairly linear and featureless except for occasional symbols carved into the walls which made it difficult for Valentine to map. To add to things, there were pits of acid, supposedly from the digestive features of the fleshy tunnels, and half human rats, supposedly either humans, rats, or the descendents of both, that had entered the tunnels by some means and subsisted upon the ‘deep meat’. These rats were not only fighting with sword and shield, but also had their own wizards that attempted to make people change sides through mind control as well as cast spells. The rat wizards also exploded into caustic pools of gore once killed.

Eventually, another group fell into the tunnels consisting of a large party of people. Banding together, the exploration of the tunnels continued and the symbols started to make sense. Members of the new group seemed to be able to draw upon other sources for information. Eventually, after many attacks by rats, the group exited the tunnels at the shrine that had been created last market by the malefic knight after the assault on Chiroproctor.

Once back in the village, things seemed to settle down a bit. Severin’s son, Yves, showed up with the family dog, Bijou, saying the dog was hungry and needed to be fed, when, in reality, it was the son that was hungry and needed to be fed. Severin had just broken out the meat and cheese when court decided to start up around them. There was a disturbance between Cruxmore soldiers acting as guards and the orders of Lady Delphine. Mostly because they were being carried out by Theo, who the guards attacked, most likely on orders of their imprisoned old commander. They also happened to attack Henri which was generally seen as a bad idea by everybody else in the village. In the end, the guards were commanded to leave the valley and go back to their own lands.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. At least it was unconcerning. There were various folkwise festivals, including the beastwise festival. They went with little complications that Severin saw other than nobody being on his side of the Beastwise game of capture the flag was in any condition to run. In the end, it all came down to the other side being able to dodge better. Dinner wound down with various groups talking about what they were going to do that night. One being a journey into the “thicket” to rescue a spirit that had apparently helped the village on the assault on the tunnels the previous market. Severin however was not a part to any of that and a quick nap turned into a night’s rest.

Almost anyway. He did wake up sometime later just in time to run into the village getting worked up to go assault the tunnels he had been trapped in earlier that day. There was a lot of people discussing the objective in groups and building up hype. They came to him as well as others and discussed if we were a community, if we would rather work together than fight, and how we should band against the rats and this wizards in this effort. Severin, having seen the rat wizards joined in the cry that rang through the village, “Fuck the Rat Wizards!”

WIth that oath on their lips, the village headed back to the tunnels together. They ventured down into them past where they were before earlier in the day. They sought out the meat tunnels and the rats for a grand melee. Then everything went to hell.

Chaos reigned. The group was attacked in both the front and the back. A magic wall sprung up in the middle of the groups separating them and preventing them from aiding each other. Rats came through the walls and attacked people who were expecting to be defended by those in the front or back of the group as a whole. Those fighters in the front and back were being tested by much stronger rat fighters and wizards than had been faced earlier. One came through a hole in the wall almost too small to see, stood taller than Severin at his tip toes, and struck him down before he could even begin to move his blade.

When he came back around, he was being bandaged and the battles was still going on. He was in the front group and many had gone forward, into a large acid pool by leaping from the islands of uneven flesh that made up the tunnel walls, floor, and ceiling which that rose above the acid. Shouts of a pregnant rat queen came back down the line along with accounts of rat wizards attempting to turn people of Luisant back on their own. With a cry of “Fuck rat wizards!” Severin rose and pushed forward. At times he had to jump onto the islands in the acid just to give those behind him room to fight the creatures that came through the walls. Then to jump back to give the warriors ahead of him more room to maneuver. In all of that, he had a hard landing and his sword slipped from his grasp and fell into the acid beyond his reach. Then another rat came through the wall and wall, sent him flying against the tunnel wall. Severin hit the wall hard and fell to the ground. The rat continued on to threaten others, not even bothering to notice if he was still alive.

Severin felt as if he had failed. His martial skills were pitiful. Without his bow which he did not have time to fetch nor the arrows to use, he seemed more of a hindrance to the group as a whole than an aid. He just laid there telling himself he was no good unless he can gain more martial skills. Eventually somebody came to his aid, and he told them he did not need help and rose on his own. There, defensless, he sought to do nothing more than take an additional blow instead of somebody else, who would continue on the fight just a little longer.

Then with another cheer of “Fuck rat wizards!” it was announced they had killed the defeated the rats, rat queen, dropped the wall preventing the groups from rejoin, and were leaving the tunnels in victory. Severin did what he could to help carry those who could not walk out on their own, and returned to the village with a more realistic vision of his current abilities.

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