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Chapter III: A Knight Out Of Habit
|Chapter III: A Knight Out Of Habit|
|Linked to||Pigmote Isle|
Story description[edit | edit source]
The Seneschal lead me to the southern side of the island, skirting the Chickenwoods. We passed through a number of raised mounds of earth mixed with fortifying strips of mushroom flesh, which I supposed to be makeshift walls. The settlement was dazzling: this side of the island appeared to be absolutely wreathed in scintillack. The Cavies' dwelling was awash with silver phosphorescence. It was a large colony; most noticeable was the steam-pinnace - the 'Impossible Lamb'? - that had run aground, from which Cavies came and went, bearing supplies. To the right of the ship, farther down the beach, a large group of Cavies lay on bundles of colourful cloth, whining and wailing as if in pain; to the left of the ship was a ramshackle tent of poles and linen in front of which guinea pigs clashed against each other and sharpened their teeth. In the centre of the village was a covered dais, veritably festooned with colourful cloth and guarded by well-decorated knights. I suspected this was where King Gracegnaw kept council. "Be welcome, Captain, in the Kingdom of Cavia, Capitol of our Isle and Blessed by the light of Our Lady's Eye." The Seneschal spoke solemnly, but with a hint of sadness to her words. "Or so it was, and shall be again. I must speak with our King and prepare your arrival. My Page will show you the area, and bring you in sight of His Splendour in good time. Page!" A much smaller guinea pig, its fur braided with a slender strip of Parabola linen, scurried over, and bowed. The Seneschal took her leave.
Trigger conditions[edit | edit source]
Chapter III: A Knight Out Of Habit is triggered when you do the I favoured the Seneschal action in Chapter II: Alike In Dignity.
Interactions[edit | edit source]
|I visited the hospital
Were those guinea pigs... quarantined?
||The Black Death
An elderly looking Cavy greeted me, eyeing me gravely.
"Many of us sickened during the voyage - a rotting in our teeth, a weakness in the flesh. This Isle was our salvation; the stronger among us made a pilgrimage towards the pool of Our Lady's Light, and then, miracle of miracles, they were cured! They bathed in Her, they drank Her sweet waters, and the strong brought the weak to Her in turn. Soon we were thriving again, bearing our children and raising them to love Our Lady's Eye and see in it our deliverance."
The elder looked sorrowfully at the sick under his care.
"Since the rats stole Her, the sickness has returned. All this light is but a mockery of Hers, and we gain from it no benefit. The only thing," the Elder's ears and voice flattened in a hiss, "that helps our condition is the flesh - the very hearts and livers - of the rats who stole Her from us."
|I visited the steam-pinnance on the beach
Was this indeed the 'Impossible Lamb'? Wasn't it reported overrun by rats?
||A chalky shore
The Page chittered while I inspected the vessel.
"Rats! Never! The Splendour of Cavy overtook this vessel! I was born here, the first Native of Cavia, but all our elders remember the voyage. It was hard, they say, but we were harder! But the Zee is black and unkind; we were lost in the dark for weeks, and no one speaks of those terrible times. But out of the darkness came the light of Our Lady's Eye, guiding us here, to our own Isle! In time we will ride the waves again, perhaps, once we have recovered our Eye. Is it not splendid?"
It certainly may have been, at one time, but I could see the hull had been severely damaged by the scintillack reef; there was no way the Cavies could hope to repair it themselves. Whatever the Page said, they were stranded here.
|I visited the barracks
What chance could guinea pigs stand against the weaponed might of the Rattus Faber?
||Evening the odds
The Page led me to the Barracks, where the Knights didn't deign to speak to one so undecorated as I. The Page, however, was eager to answer my questions.
"The rats have no weapons! None to speak of. What is a gun without a bullet? A sword without a blade! Ours are the supplies, the knives, the soft-stuffs and the glory. Their teeth are sharp, it is true, while ours ... " The Page hesitated as the Knights glowered at him. "...are sharper! All praise to the Flowers of the House of Cavy!"
One Knight preened while another grunted indifference, working a whetstone along its top front teeth. As I watched, a particularly vigorous swipe knocked a whole incisor out of place. It landed on the ground in a black and bloody mess.\r\n\r\nThe Knight gasped, grasped the tooth, and vanished from sight; another glared in a way that dared me to make something of it.
|I had seen enough
It was time for my audience with the King.