Chapter Nine – The pigs
“So you have a problem with the farmers in your area being attacked by pigs?” Loris asked incredulously. He knew that people were stupid, especially farmers, but having trouble with pigs? You killed, cooked and ate the critters – preferably well-roasted and with pickles.
“Well, not normal pigs it seems, the surviving farmers describe them as somehow being human, even using weapons – even guns,” the captain of the guard overseeing the plains area answered.
“And why don’t the army just get rid of this nuisance,” Loris said with just a hint of mockery in his voice.
“What he means is how can we help,” Mafalda quickly added trying to dampen the tension.
Loris shot an angry glance at her but kept quiet, it would earn them money after all so better try to let his superiority be a little less threatening.
The captain seemed to ignore Loris mockery and answered his question with a straight face.?“We don’t have any men to spare, the army commissions most of them to help keep our northern neighbors from advancing further, and since our evil old king and his demons from across the desert have slunk back into their hole on the far side of the desert we don’t need that much of a guard here. Save the occasional animal attack or brigands we live pretty quiet lives in these parts.”
“So you want us to find out what happened, assess and remove the threat to the farmers, is that correct?” Janisz asked.
“Yes, a small independent group like yours would also have less risk of promoting panic among the population, if I mobilized the army I would practically admit that there is a large scale problem which would cause a panic, and we need the farmers and workers, without them we would starve and get nothing done, society would grind to a halt.”
Loris mumbled something about “the rabble” so quietly that the details could not be heard but the others decided it was best to let it be.
“But is there a larger problem? It is not just isolated attacks?” Mafalda asked worried.
“I sure hope there isn’t, I sure hope…”
The sun was high in the sky and a slight breeze made the plains northeast of Bainsmarket a rather pleasant place to be. That was until the pillars of smoke became visible in the horizon though, they brought an ominous feeling of something being wrong to the otherwise idyllic day.
After a while a black spot appeared on the horizon under the smoke pillar, and as they got closer it became clear it was a burning farm. Smaller dark shadows seemed to move around the farm, was brigands the cause of the attacks?
As they got closer it became apparent that the raiders were rather squatly build: Then that they were somewhat hunched, and finally that it was not human brigands after all but a group of pig-men, the creature the scholars called farrows.
“They haven’t seen us yet, they’re prolly too occupied fattening themselves for slaughter on the spoils from the farm, let’s make them notice us,” Janisz said while loading his rifle.
“Sounds like a plan,” Loris said dryly, “if it can be called so.”
Kamkan rubbed his hands together, “time to kill some piggies! Did I ever tell you guys that I don’t like piggies? Back when I was small I….”
He was cut short by the loud bang from Janisz rifle, the fight was on.
The fire rose from the farmstead, but this time it was not form burning buildings but from two fires the group had made in the middle of the burnt out farm. The large fire was where the remains of humans and farrows were given a final rest, the sickly smell of warm, burning human flesh disturbing some of the group eating the cooked remains of the unfortunate livestock of the farm by the second, smaller fire more than others.
“I don’t understand why we had to burn them here,” Loris complained, “it makes me lose my appetite.”
Det var det jeg fik skrevet i sin tid, måske der kommer mere en dag, men jeg tvivler.