Fenton has been drooling over this bit of barely-cooked meat he's put on the fire. He's got these wild, twitchy eyes. It looks like he's doing all the cooking with his bare hands.
I clear my throat and his eyes snap in my direction. He stares for a minute and I realize he's waiting for me to speak. "Um. Hello, sir," I greet him, making a point to not shake hands. "Need any help? If you don't mind me asking, that is."
"Yes!", he says with sudden and worrisome glee. I can't help noticing how bad this entire campsite smells. "Yes!" he says again, "You're exactly what I've been looking for."
I glance sideways at the barrel of meat and take a few steps back.
"MARSHFLIES!" he shouts.
"Marsh-flies?" I answer weakly.
"Yes. Look at them," he nods out towards the lake. Indeed, there are some marsh flies buzzing around:
The marsh-flies are kind of big. They're about the size of my head. They're nothing compared to the spiders, though.
"I hate marsh-flies," he says through clenched teeth. "Haaate them."
"Yeah, I know. Me too."
"Kill some for me?" he asks meekly.
Now I'm cheesed off, "Are you going to stand beside a dead bear and ask for my help swatting flies?"
"Yes! Ten of them!"
"You know, you might not have a fly problem if you didn't decorate your camp with rotting meat," I point out.
After a few moments of silence he adds, "Pretty please?"
"Fine. Weirdo." I say as I storm off.
Fenton liked his meat bloody.
So his campsite looked kind of cruddy.
The smell and the flies,
drove away all the guys,
Now a dead bear is his only buddy.
Next up on the tour is Cal Sprigley.
Cal lives on a farm south of town. Far south. He's actually closer to the brigand outpost than to Archet. The raiders will pass directly by his place on their way to town. Someone mentioned that Cal was insisting on staying on his farm and wouldn't be joining everyone else inside of the quasi-protective walls of the city.
"I hope you're not here to ask us to run and hide in town with everyone else!" he shouts at me as I approach. Beside him is someone who is either his very ugly wife or his very, very ugly farmhand.
"Me? No." I shrug.
"Good! My family is staying right here and we aim to defend our farm if those brigands attack."
I'm kind of encouraged to see a human with a good spine. "You know there are a lot of them, right? And they're out for blood since I ... Er. Since someone killed a few of their guys."
Cal is defiant, "Well let them come! We're staying right here!"
"Fine. Whatever. You think you're hardass enough to face them all down that's your business."
Cal nods. "Good! Because we're staying. And not going to town. We're not afraid of-"
"Right, right," I say, cutting him off before he gets himself even more worked up. "Someone in town said you needed help?"
Cal points down the hill from his farm, "Old Bloodtusk has been giving us a lot of trouble. We need you to take care of him."
I peer down the hill where he's pointing, looking for the savage beast that has Cal so spooked. I don't see anything. Finally I ask, "I don't see Bloodtusk. Is he near that pig?"
"That IS Bloodtusk!" he says impatiently.
"You need my help killing a piglet?"