Lakes of Blood and Ash
Thorns: Mud Rake
We all just want to eat...
The Mud Rake was once a child who lived in the conquered streets of Thorns. Too young to be of use to the gangs that grew as weeds in the streets. Mere weeks after the conquest crops rotted in the sky darkened skies. Soon after milk spoiled from the teat of sickening animals…most of the food had to come from the sea and fewer boats returned to the decaying city every day. Then the Realm embargo arrived and no ships returned. Each day was more desperate than the last. Even in such times as these, well, one could say in times such as these the opportunist ate best.
Rats filled every shadow and peaked from under the floorboards. Many rumors circulated in the early days about the rats eating dogs and people in the night, usually amid a bit of forced mirth. In later days, people took the dead out to feed the rats and the laughter stopped. There were dead eyes and stark stillness as this new ecology of life took form. When you have nothing, food is all you think about. The movement of food into the city to placate the nobles who fawned around the Mask of Winters, these could no longer reach their destinations. When people are starving, they no longer care about even death.
This was Mud Rakes world, his world with the rats. He ate what they ate. Slept where they slept. Helped them understand mortal traps and mortal thinking. Mud Rake became a guide and a friend to these devours of humanity. When has Creation even been so kind though? The food riots grew to a fevered pitch even before the Sky Fall. Bombardment from the Realm Navy was fuel on a fire, literal fire, sweeping through dry god-forsaken streets. It can never be said that a rat is more noble than a man. A man might be a rat, but he need not be. When the other vermin fled the fires to save themselves, Mud Rake bent his back to throw aside burning beams and save his kin. When the fires were extinguished they returned…and ate him. But, not all of him and so the story of Mud Rake began anew, even if little had changed.