Over Root and Under Loam
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Over Root and Under Loam

Mud, Blood, Whimsy and Rodents

It was raining. The forest smelt of green shoots and brown leaf mulch, of growing things and dying things, but more than anything it smelt of rich, dark earth, and dampness.

A little fire spluttered against the dark and the wet in a small hollow between the roots of an oak tree.

Here is our hero-of-sorts, though he certainly wouldn’t like being named as such. Wanderer, he will accept, and it is as this he introduces himself, when he has to. He is a rat, hunched over the fire for warmth, glancing furtively to the small entrance of this night’s hideaway. A nail sat at his waist, a wooden buckler and helm hanging off the pack resting against the rooted earthen wall. He had not removed the lacquered spruce of his breastplate.

He muffled a sneeze, grimaced, and leant against the wall, trying to sleep. Outside an owl hooted and he tensed. Sleep would come hard tonight.

His name is Orpek. Orpek of the Sore Feet, if he’d give himself a title. He is travelling west. He does not plan on ever stopping.

These are the tales of his journey.

Dyemonger, by Snapdragon133

Orpek waits out a cold spell at a vibrant, but troubled, fort.

Three-and-a-Half Stories About Rodent Fishing, by Vishardsh

Our wanderer learns about fish, and the rodents who catch them.

Groundwater, by NotAnOligarch

A grandiose predator hatches an unspeakable plot, but his hubris will be his undoing.

No Fear of the Owl, by Vishardsh

On a stormy night a stranger arrives in Hilldown burrow, carrying the body of a newly-married forager. He begs shelter, the nail at his waist glinting in the torchlight.

The mice do not trust rats but the corpse bears wounds he could not possibly have dealt. He is granted a place to sleep.

Something killed that mouse, out there in the fog, in the long grass.

The wanderer intends to deal with it, one way or another.

But the days are growing cold and strange. The stores are shallow and the winter storms are already beginning. This is no age for heroics.

Part I: A Stranger at the Burrow Gates
Part II: A Song for Efishti
Part III: Soup and Stories
Coming Soon!
Coming Soon!

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