Disclaimer: it’s disorganized and kinda bad. But I wrote it with the help of some random name generators…
“Grawin, I don’t mind working for you, but I’m not doing very well in Silver lately. I heard some rumors from Sergeant Hammorl with the guards that there are problems with some very large rats eating crops, passing disease, and even killing some people out at the edge of the county.” Halmar said to the owner of the town smithies. He rented out spaces for various types of workers, from goldsmiths making jewelry to blacksmiths making horseshoes.
“I see” he said. “So, you’d like to go out and work for the guard for a while, until trade gets better?”
“Yes, I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of weeks now. I talked to the guards, and I thought today would be a good day to start over there. Most of my work is done, I just have things to sell. I already know who needs the equipment that I have.”
“I see. Well, I can’t tell you that you’ll have the shop you are in now when you get back, but I’ll make sure to save a space for you. I’d hate for someone to protect our town, and come back to have lost everything as thanks for what he did.” The gnome said.
And with that, Halmar left to the local general store, to gear up. His friend on the town guard had told him that he would have work, but he would want armor, a weapon or two, a pack, something to sleep on, a blanket, and anything else would be up to him. He could stay with locals, as long as he didn’t disgrace himself. Some towns, he’d heard, didn’t allow the guards to quarter with the locals, they had to either set up camp, or leave from garrison every day. He’d be expected to pay for his quarters, and any food and drink, but the people appreciated the guard. They didn’t charge much for the little they had to offer.
He sold his few possessions, except for his leather pack, and a couple of tools (a large hammer, an iron bar, and a small length of chain, and rope). That gave him about 140 gold centuries. With that, he bought leather armor, a bastard sword (a slightly large one-hander). He also bought some candles, just a copper mug each. He found a couple of daggers that he thought he could stab with or throw effectively. With that, he left to report to Sergeant Hammorl.
Growing up in this town, he’d seen some of the guards on duty. During a shift change, the incoming guards marched up to the sergeant, and saluted, then ran to wherever they were posted for guard duty. So, he tried it. As soon as he saw the sergeant, he began his attempt at marching in a straight line towards him, but looked more like a child marching than a professional soldier. “Sergeant Hammorl, Halmar, reporting for duty killing rats.” He almost yelled. With a chuckle at the poorly executed march, the sergeant returned the salute. “Thank you for coming so quickly” he said. They’d talked about this two weeks ago, and he said this would probably be the day he could start. “For now, it looks like you’ll be alone. These rats are big, but they can be killed by one man, as long as he’s prepared. I’ll give you a couple doses of medicine that , the healer made. It seems to cure this fever carried by the rats. Any questions, Halmar?” “Yes, where will I be starting? I know some of these fields…” and he was cut off “You’ll be starting at the point you can’t see the guard tower. I have to go to my quarters [for something]. You can head out there now.”
He began walking. He was told to walk until he could just see the top of the guard tower, and then go just a little further. The sergeant told him that it would take around an hour. The guard towers they used were tall. He’d talked to the sergeant in the afternoon. He could see now he only had a couple hours of light left. He decided that it would be a good place to stop, because he was just past seeing the top of the tower, and the next house looked like it was almost a mile away. So he knocked on the door to the nearest house, there were several in a cluster around where he was. It was a large “L” shaped building, surrounded by several outbuildings, and a mill. A woman answered the door, and started to say something, as she looked him over. “Come in, I see your guard badge.” And he walked in. “Our son works on the other side of town, guarding Port Road. He comes back every month for a day or so. Have you met him before?” “No, I haven’t, I just started today, I was a silversmith before. I usually stayed in the shop, sold directly to exporters, so not many people around town really know me. With [whatever is causing it] nobody wants the things I make, so I decided I would help fix this rat problem. I’ve seen sick and dead people in town because of it.” “yes, we haven’t had any on our property yet, but the neighbors have all had at least one rat. One of them was bitten last week!” “We have a room you can use, over our shop.” And she led him to a room over the shorter section of the building. It was a simple room, with a bed, and some basic furniture. All made of rough lumber, like the rest of the interior. But it would give him somewhere to stay. It was built to be a shop, with a room for the shopkeeper. The staircase on the side led down to a large open room with a counter along one side, and a simple kitchen. She’d told him he could store anything he needed down there, for now. She said that [the economy wasn’t doing well enough right now to open a business]. The light was dim in the room, but he had walked down to look in the kitchen, not expecting to see anything, and he heard a scratching sound out on the floor, behind a shelf. “Oh boy” he thought. “so it begins”. He had put everything else down, but he had a dagger on his belt, so was armed. He had worn his armor to make it easier to carry, and hadn’t taken that off yet either. So that would make this better. He knew he need to be closer, so he ran towards the counter, to try to jump onto it. He managed to just catch the edge of the counter with his feet, and stood. The rat heard him and started to move. It tried to jump up to the counter, but couldn’t quite reach the top, and fell back to the floor. So he made his move, and lunged for it. He caught it with his dagger, almost killing it. But before he could lean back up on the counter, it bit him in the arm. It was a pretty painful bite, he knew he would have to be careful after that. As it moved back, he lunged for its head, hitting. It fell to the floor unconscious, so he finished it off, and sat down to tend to his arm wound. After cleaning it up, and putting a bandage over it, he went up to his room for a night of sleep.