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Cleric Journal: Day Thirty-Four

DearFatherMulcahy

 

What the hell is it with this swamp? I was standing on the edge of the raft, having a good pee in the morning when I was startled by the shrieking and fighting of rats. See, I hadn’t thought it was a good idea to sleep in the raided village, so after eating my fill of frog legs (and smoking a bunch of meat for later) I retired to the raft, resupplied and ready to take off the this morning. I wanted to see if I could determine who or what had attacked this village of Lizard Folk.

But, no. This ridiculous swamp had supplied me with the joy of vermin. Rats had shown up to feast on the guts and scraps of the giant frog. What a mess. I’d left the spear near the great stone table where I’d butchered the frog and I’d thought to pick it up before heading out. Frankly, I thought if I found a Lizard Folk, they may be happy to have a weapon.   Otherwise I may not have gotten close enough to the village to be a threat, but several large rats noticed me floating close by and decided that I would make a nice addition to their bounty.

Rats are swarm animals. And clever. They scattered from the frog bones and launched themselves toward the raft, swimming in a great scrum toward me. I poled the raft back as far as I could, but it only bought me a few seconds. The first rats scrambled onto the raft before I could react.

Brother Charles reacted quickest, flinging himself down to snatch the first rat in his wicket talons and snapped the neck of the nasty biter with his great beak. I entered the fray kicking rats with my boots, punting rats ten feet or more out into the water, but most just swam back toward me.

This, of course, was not acceptable. I took about three seconds to get my balance in the center of the raft and began playing wack a rat. It was almost fun, except for the viscera. Smashed rats smell fairly foul and they were relentless. I had to kill twenty three before the rest broke off and swam away.

It really wasn’t how I wanted to start my day, believe me. It did, however give me a new project. Trust me, when you are all alone in the wild it’s a really good thing to have a project. Something to keep you from doubting yourself, and to keep the voices in your head at bay. Instead of taking off, I decided to take what the great Semaunya (may her gifts always be bountiful, but perhaps with fewer teeth) had provided me and put it to good use. Using one of the knives Sister Agnes had liberated for me from Cook’s supplies, I spent several hours skinning rats. All those years of scut work in the kitchens really paid off. By the time the sun was high in the sky I had half a dozen rats skinned and gutted and simmering in the stew pot. You know how much we all loved when Cook made her rat stew. It was the second most applauded meal after the that meat you served on the high holy days. Tasty stuff.

I added some of the root vegetables I found in the swamp and made a nice thick rat stew long before the sun set. Oh, and I know how long to cook a rat. I was always a quick study. Once the meat began to fall apart in your fingers, and the vegetable had thickened the stew enough to become hard to stir, it was time to feast.

I just wish I had the Lizard Folk here to feast with me.

Tomorrow I’ll tan the rat hides. I think I can make a nice set of gloves out of them, and a hat to match. Maybe some belt pouches or something. I’d figure it out eventually.

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What I'm Reading

 

D&D 5E Player’s Handbook

 

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Note: This is not the real book cover.