Meeting Reverend Marsh

The short, hirsute man sat in the corner, where even the dim light feared to tread. What parts of his ruddy skin were not covered in hair bore the scars that resembled the waves of an angry sea. He was dressed in a crudely stitched leather suit, which seemed ready to fall apart at any moment. As I stepped closer, the rancid stench of body odor and uncooked meat assaulted my nostrils. He brushed a rusty knife through the curls of his beard, which he shoved into his pack as he noticed my approach. His gray, bugling bug eyes locked with mine, right before he started mumbling incoherently.

He stood up, using a strangely-polished trident to hobble across the floor. He walked with a slight limp, which made his gait all the more unsettling. I noticed his trident handle was covered in ornate scrimshaw, like that which would adorn the neck of some superstitious sailor. He never once extended his grimy hands words me, but his gaze almost felt the same. He stopped several paces in front of me, sitting on a rickety stool.

He reached into his pack, and he retrieved a squirming bag. He reached inside, and grinned as his thick hands closed around something. He slowly withdrew it, revealing a rat in his fist. He talked to it with a low, mumbling voice. "We all got our parts to play, especially the end."

In a single fluid movement, he moved the rat up to his mouth, and closed his yellowing teeth around the head. He spit the head out, leaving a bloody flap of flesh were the rodent's neck terminated. He took another bite clean out of the rat's stomach, ripping the entrails out across his lap. He sifted through its intestines with his knife, before staring up at me with a grin.

"The Master says you're good, which is enough in my book," he said. "Name's Reverend Obediah Marsh."

He tossed the rat corpse behind him. "If the world does you wrong, Master Bokrug and I will do 'em worse."

He grinned once more, his yellow teeth smiling like crooked gravestones.