Marigold Companions: What To Plant With Marigolds
In the article below we will share some facts about marigolds and their usefulness in companion planting. There are many different types of marigolds. They grow from small greenish flowers to large purple blooms.
Some have white petals while others have red or pink ones. All of them look very pretty but they all have one thing in common; they’re beautiful companions for your vegetables!
The most popular type of marigolds used in companion planting is the Dwarf Marigold (Aster spp.). These plants are small shrubs that usually grow to less than 1 foot tall.
They have small green leaves and white flowers. The dwarf marigold grows well in containers and can tolerate temperatures down to around 20 degrees Farenheit. The dwarf marigold is often grown for its edible fruits called “marshmallow” or “marzipan”. You can eat these marshmallows raw or baked. If you want to make marzipan into cookies, then it’s advisable to use the seeds instead of the fruit.
Another type of marigold that is commonly used in companion planting is the Common Marigold (Helichrysum spp.) . These plants are medium sized shrubs that usually grow up to 2 feet tall.
They have dark green leaves and yellow flowers. The common marigold is also edible. The flowers can be eaten raw or cooked. The petals can also be candied and used to decorate cakes or other desserts. Like the dwarf marigold, these shrubs are very easy to grow in containers and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures.
If you plant marigolds with beans, the marigolds will help keep the Mexican Bean Beetles away. These beetles are one of the most troublesome pests in companion planting. The dwarf and common marigold have hardy root systems that grow deep into the soil.
These roots release a scent that repels the beetle. This means you can plant your bean seeds or seedlings near the marigold and they should be safe from damage.
The French Marigold (Tagetes patula) is also known as the African Marigold or the American Flag. It’s orange flowers are very easy to recognize and it has become a popular addition to gardens all over the world. The French Marigold is one of the most effective companions for tomatoes and it also has deep roots that help prevent other pests such as nematodes from attacking your plants.
If you have a problem with the Wilt Disease, then plant French Marigolds and your plants should recover within weeks.
The Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis) is a very common garden flower. It’s orange and yellow flowers grow on tall stalks. These plants are edible and their petals can be sprinkled on salads or used to make tea.
Some people also use the petals as a spice or in medicine. Calendula can be planted with tomatoes and it will keep aphids away from the plants.
The African Marigold (Tagetes erecta) is a tall plant that flowers all year round. It grows to over 3 feet tall and has deep-reaching roots. Its flowers come in shades of red, orange, yellow and brown.
The African marigold can be planted with tomatoes to keep the Tomato Fruitworm Moth away from your plants. It is also very effective against nematodes. The roots of this plant are also used as a natural pesticide and they can keep many types of pests away from your garden, even if you don’t plant them near the plants that need protection! This makes the African Marigold a very versatile companion plant.
The Snow in Summer (Cerastium tomentosum) is a very small white flower that grows all over the world. It’s a member of the Pink family and it has a mild flavor. You can eat the whole plant including the flowers.
In fact, it’s a good source of vitamin C, especially when eaten in the spring. The roots of this plant can also be eaten and they are usually consumed when in flower, after they have developed their delicious taste. Any leftovers can be dried for later use.
The Snow in Summer is a good companion for any vegetable. It helps to keep away pests and it also adds valuable nutrients to the soil. The flowers can also be woven into sweet-smelling necklaces or made into decorations.
Most Beans will grow happily with the Snow in Summer. These plants release a chemical that increases the amount of nitrogen in the soil. This helps promote healthy bean plants and the beans themselves will be of a very good quality.
This plant is not to be confused with the Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum), which is a member of the Bedstraw family. The Sweet Woodruff does not help repel pests and it should be avoided as a companion plant.
These plants will grow anywhere in the world apart from the coldest regions. They are very easy to recognize because they have oval leaves and clusters of purple flowers. The mauve flowers turn into round seeds that are in fact edible.
The taste is similar to sunflower seeds and they can be eaten straight from the plant or crushed up and used as a ingredient for bread.
The Violet (including the Grape Vine) helps to protect your plants from aphids. It is also a good companion for any plants in the Bean Family. The leaves and petals can be eaten and have a mild flavor.
The Cornflower (including the Grape Vine) is not actually related to the Bluebottle but it shares many of its traits. It attracts hoverflies which prey on aphids and it can be used as a natural pesticide. This plant grows wild in most parts of the world, especially in meadows and pastures.
The Woodruff (Galium odoratum) is part of the bedstraw family and it releases a strong smell of new-mown hay. It can be very useful in the garden as it attracts hoverflies, which prey on aphids. This plant is also a good companion for most plants apart from the Grape Vine and the Violet.
The Wood Anenome (Listera ovata) is a rare plant that is native to North America. It is grows in wet woods and it’s actually part of the Orchid family. It produces smooth green leaves and white flowers that resemble tiny Lilies.
The flowers have a very sweet fragrance.
The Wood Anenome attracts insects, especially hoverflies and it can be planted with many plants to help ward off attacks from aphids. It is also a good companion for berries and it will increase the yield. This plant is only found in North America.
The Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) is not actually a true aconite but it has a similar look and poisonous taste. It’s a small plant that grows naturally in meadows and pastures but it’s rare in most places. The roots can be eaten and have a sweet taste.
Aconites (including the Winter Aconite) help to protect your garden from mouse attacks. They also attract hoverflies.
The Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens) is a small plant that releases a poisonous toxin. It can be eaten by cattle and goats but any humans who eat the raw fruit will suffer acute stomach pains. The leaves can be cooked as a green vegetable but the taste is very bitter.
The Creeping Buttercup will not grow well if planted with most plants but it does have a beneficial effect on the Grape Vine and it helps to protect your garden from rodent attacks.
Poisonous plants are only found in the Americas, New Zealand, Australia and parts of Southern Africa. They typically grow in shady areas and they are usually brightly colored to attract insects.
Most people believe that these plants should not be cultivated near a dwelling but this is false. Many of these plants can be eaten and they are also effective in deterring attacks from different types of animals.
Most poisonous plants are found close to the ground but there are some shrubs that contain poisons. These plants will kill or drive away most grazing animals and they will also affect rodent attacks.
The leaves of the Common Yew can be cooked into a nutritious broth or tea but it is very poisonous if consumed raw. The Common Yew is also one of the few plants that is effective against the Hercules Beetle. This tree grows naturally in most parts of the northern hemisphere.
The berries of the Common Sanguisorba (Sanguisorba minor) can be eaten when cooked but they are poisonous if eaten raw. The leaves are also edible and they can be cooked into a green paste or they can be used as fodder for animals.
The Common Sanguisorba is a small shrub that grows in most parts of the world. It has a lot of beneficial uses and it is also an important plant for medical purposes.
The Black Hellebore (Helleborus niger) can be used to make medicine and it can also be cooked into a poisonous paste. It should not be consumed in large quantities as it can have dangerous effects. The Black Hellebore grows in moist, shaded areas.
It is mostly found in forested hills and mountains.
The Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum) is a very common plant that contains several different poisons. It can be eaten but the taste is very bitter and most people have trouble consuming it. The Black Nightshade grows everywhere in most parts of the world.
It prefers shady areas and it can be commonly found near farms and villages.
The Black Nightshade is also known as the Dead Man’s Bells due to its unique bell shaped purple flowers
The leaves of the European Yew (Taxus baccata) are poisonous to humans and most animals. The yew is a very rare tree that can live for several thousand years. The ancient Druids believed that all yews grew from the body of a former deity which is why they are often found in cemeteries.
The yew tree has many other religious and mythological significance.
The berries of the Cestrum Nocturnum (Cestrum nocturnum) contain a poison that can be used to make medicine. It is one of the darkest plants in existence and it can only survive in very shady areas such as caves or abandoned mines.
The berries of the European Yew (Taxus baccata) are poisonous to humans but they are harmless to most animals. Like most trees it has several religious and mythological significance. It is a very rare tree that can live for several thousand years.
The Yellow Jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens) contains a poison that is very poisonous to humans but it is harmless to most animals. It grows on trees near the top in shaded areas and it contains a sweet perfume that can be used as medicine.
The petals of the Yellow Rose (Rosa Solis) are edible to humans and can be used in cooking. It can also be used to make medicine but it is very toxic if too much is consumed. The Yellow Rose is a climbing plant and the petals fall off quite easily.
They lose their scent very quickly so it is best to only pick them when you need them.
This page will tell you everything that you need to know about plants and animals. You can find information on the different types of plants and animals that are around, where they live, what they eat, how big they grow and how to kill them.
The Backbone Of The World is covered in vast forests that stretch from one end of the land to the other. The Kingdom of Man has been battling the giants for generations to gain more land to build their cities and roads but so far they have not made a lot of progress. Most of the forests are made up of Normal Trees but there are some other varieties that have special properties that mean they are more dangerous than others.
The Kingdom of Man is in the far south of The Land Of Rivers and it contains a lot of the same types of terrain and climate. The Kingdom Of Man contains many sprawling cities that are home to thousands of people but most of the population live in small isolated communities made up of a few small villages. The Kingdom Of Man is mostly human but also contains a few tribes of hobgoblins that have been integrated into the society.
The Kingdom Of Man is well defended with a strong navy and army that patrols the seas and land. The borders are well guarded to keep out bands of marauding giants that live in the mountainous area to the north.
The Tribes Of Men are a group of peoples that live in small isolated villages and cities on the borders of the Kingdom Of Man. They live a fairly peaceful life but have to fight off attacks from the Giants that live in the mountains near to them. They are fairly isolated from the rest of humanity and do not get involved in their wars.
They prefer to fight their own battles and look after their own people.
The Kingdom Of Elves is an ancient place of great beauty. The elves have lived here for millennia and they have woven a magic into this land that is bewitching to those who visit. The Kingdom Of Elves contains great cities surrounded by beautiful gardens and idyllic countryside.
It is a place of peace and serenity but visitors are welcome as long as they are respectful. The Kingdom Of Elves is governed by an absolute ruler known as The Mage Lord. He has ruled here for nearly a thousand years and plans to rule for a thousand more. He allows no dissent and will execute anyone who opposes him. The Kingdom Of Elves has a strong military force but they keep to their own borders and only engage in battle if their borders are threatened.
The Kingdom Of Elves is home to the Trow, a race of primitive beings that live in the hills and mountains to the west of the Kingdom. They dwell in caves and underground dwellings and mine the mountains for minerals and ores. They are small compared to humans, shorter than an orc and stocky in build.
They have strong hardy bodies and dig with their bare hands day and night. They have a rudimentary language of grunts and sounds but those that interact with humans tend to pick up our language. They are not an intelligent race but they are not stupid and can become formidable warriors when roused to battle. They worship the gods of the mountain and nature and as such are often druidic in their leanings. They are resistant to the effects of nature and are often found in the retinue of elves as a guardian of their forests.
The City States Of The Old Empire are a group of islands that were once part of the Old Empire but were separated after a great cataclysm split the land mass into several parts. The people who lived there abandoned their Old Empire colonisation plans and made their home upon the islands. They have continued with a life much like their ancestors, living a comfortable life based around trade and diplomacy.
The City States Of The Old Empire are ruled by several kings and queens who tend to argue a lot, every city state is self-governing but they unite when faced with a common enemy. Piracy is rampant in the waters between the islands and attacks upon ships frequent. The ruling classes are all comprised of those that can use magic.
The Godless Land is a land mass that was once the Old Empire’s final shoreline but was separated by the cataclysm. The people who live here are similar to the Old Empire’s barbaric ancestors. They are not as hostile to others as the Orcs but they worship their own gods and goddesses and many are under the delusion that they will eventually conquer the other lands of the known world.
They have a language, culture and society but they do not use coins, instead trade is based upon barter. The affluent members of this society often have weapons or armour of high quality make. They are sometimes to referred to as the “Forts” by travellers for their frequent use of watchtowers along every border.
The Desert Tribes are nomadic groups that wander the desert living a life that has changed little over the centuries. They often wander into other lands in large caravans to trade. The tribespeople are a friendly people for the most part and enjoy parties and socialising.
They often try to trade for things that they cannot make themselves, the most common requests being gems and glass ornaments.
The Far Islands are a chain of large islands far out to sea. They are inhabited by a race of tall fair haired humans who are often mistaken for elves (called soves by the locals) but are in fact related to humans. They have a tendency towards magic and as such produce many good wizards and witch doctors.
They are often travelled and trade with the City States, the Desert Tribes and even as far as the Old Empire (though they were never part of it). They produce many goods but rely mainly upon fishing, trading and piracy for their income.
They have some of the most skilled sailors in the known world and often venture far from land, exploring the oceans for new resources and trading opportunities. Pirates are a major problem.
The Island League is a group of several island chains that have banded together for trade and defense reasons. Most islands have a monarch but they all answer to a council of representatives that meet in the largest island. As well as trade and defense the Island League is known for its fair and just laws.
Once every five years the League takes a census of all inhabitants on the islands, even pirates who are sometimes known to use the nearby island chains as a safe harbor. This is all kept on record and if anyone is found to be illegally living on the islands they are gently but firmly asked to leave, if they refuse they are sentenced to community service.
Highly skilled sailors, pirates and traders.
The Old Empire
The Old Empire is the ancient civilization that collapsed centuries ago. No one alive today actually remembers it as a living society but many ancient ruins still exist. It covered a much much larger area than the current day Old Empire territory and as such its influence has been suggested to stretch as far as the Godless Land, the Lost City and even the Island League.
The ruins are often rich in resources, specifically gold. Many adventurers, mercenaries and lost souls travel there to seek their fortune.
The Old Empire’s structure is difficult for most to understand but based on the ruins that still stand it appears to be a hierarchy based almost entirely around magic. In the center of the Old Empire was the Capital which housed the Emperor and his palace, which was said to be made of pure jade. Surrounding this were the provinces, each ruled by a Magus Imperial who was in charge of their province and eventually their district.
The districts were each in charge of a single type of magic or resource, for example fire, air, water or metal. Each district was in turn made up of many colleges, each of which was ruled over by a Magus.
Below this were the subjects, though it has been argued that given how far the influence of the Old Empire reached, most of the world below was in fact subject to it at one time. This is of course all speculation, as despite the amount we know about this now dead civilization, much like the Lost City we never met them and don’t truly know them.
You open your eyes and look around the cabin. You’ve been dreaming again, an occurrence that has become more and more frequent over the past few months. As always you head to the porthole to stare out across the water and refresh your memory of where you are.
You are aboard the ship “The Galloping Hessian” and you are currently somewhere in the waters between the Island League and Old Empire territory. You have been for several months now together with three other pirates; Captain Flint, a tall man of about 45 who looks like he has been carved out of wood, with a swarthy face and black curly hair with a long black mustache. His face is scarred, one eye is missing and he walks with a limp.
You don’t know where he’s from, his first mate, a fat bald man of about 30 called Mr Snow who has a snakey face and a forked tongue, calls him Captain and that’s all you need to know.
The third pirate is called Bones and looks like an undernourished 13 year old. He’s young, perhaps too young to be a pirate but he’s a good hand with the rigging and obeys orders fast and accurately. You’ve worked with him before on other ships and you find him reliable.
The four of you are waiting at sea for a merchant ship to pass, when you will pounce upon it, kill the sailors and take whatever goods you can find below deck. That has been the routine lately.
You are a pirate and for the past few years you have been working from ship to ship on the oceans surrounding the area known as the new territories which exist on the continent of Pandemeria where new lands are still being discovered and explored.
Although you are a pirate and live a life of crime, there is a distinct line drawn between the pirates on the seas and the criminal scum that sail around the coastal areas robbing people on the land.
The pirates on the sea are for the most part nominally on the side of good, one could even call them adventurers. Most of them are independent free agents who sail around looking for treasures to plunder or ships to raid. They will even accept missions from coastal towns to go out and raid pirate ships, primarily those of the infamous Blind Michael.
You have only taken a mission from one of the coastal towns once and that was under extreme duress. You cannot understand how any right thinking individual would willingly choose to live their lives trapped on a small strip of land surrounded by oceans of unknown peril.
That is one of the many reasons you are glad you are a pirate and not a coastal towns criminal, the other reason being that you aren’t caught, tried and executed if you are unlucky enough to be caught by the authorities.
The most well known of the pirate captains is known as Captain Bane of the ships Dagger and Demise. He is the bane of all coastal towns, having raided and destroyed many of them. You have only come across his fleet once and that was a rare instance when you happened to come across a small merchant ship fleeing what was left of a coastal town which his fleet had destroyed.
You took the survivors aboard and learned what had happened. It was one of the few missions you accepted from a coastal town. You aren’t sure exactly what your next move is going to be but you need to do something, anything other than what you have been doing lately which is wasting away at sea, taking the odd merchant ship now and then for supplies.
You settle for talking to your first mate to get his opinion on the situation.
“Ah Captain, good, you’re here.” He says as you come aboard.
What’s going on?”
“Well we’ve found a merchant ship, just like we’ve been looking for but we’re not sure what to do about it.”
What do you mean?”
“Well we could just let it pass, surely it would be better to wait for a better target rather than just wasting our time and resources on a common merchant ship.”
You think for a moment and then ask “And the other option?”
“We attack anyway, a small merchant ship is an easy target, it’s not like they’re going to have many cannons or skilled sailors.”
“True enough but if we get caught it could cause problems, we could very well damage our reputation.”
Your first mate goes quiet and you realize that he has no further input. Making a decision you call down to the crew “We’re attacking!” There is a cheer followed by the sharp sound of him firing his pistol in the air three times which is the agreed signal to gather on deck to discuss battle plans.
You climb down to the main deck and address your small crew. You only have eight men aboard including yourself so you don’t consider yourself to be much of a threat to any navy ships but you’ve found that the element of surprise and a quick getaway can compensate for a lack of numbers.
You begin to explain that a small merchant ship is within sight and you intend to attack it. There are a few nods of approval but one of the more outspoken crew members, Roldan objects.
“But captain, we could attack the much bigger navy ship docked not far from here instead! I think we could easily raid it with what we have.” He says.
This proposal takes you by surprise. Destroying a navy ship would certainly make you much more famous but it also comes with greater risk. You think about the possible advantages though, with more people on your side you believe that you could easily do it and it would definitely make you and your crew far more famous which could be a good thing.
And how would we escape if we’re spotted?
We could easily lose the merchant ship or just let it be but if we attack the navy, we attack and that’s it. No maybes, no going back. Besides, attacking a navy ship would be betraying our nation, something a traitor such as yourself might enjoy but I wonder about the rest of us.”
You look at your crew and are pleased to see that most of them are nodding in agreement with you. Roldan’s expression is one of shock and he quickly realizes that he is in the minority. He quickly backs down.
“Just a suggestion captain, I agree with your decision.” He says before taking a step back with his arms raised palms out.
You look at him and let him know that it would be best if he kept his suggestions to himself for now. You also address the rest of your crew that while you appreciate their support, you want absolute discipline until the mission is over. You explain that you aren’t ordering them to do anything, its just that any objections could lead to problems during the mission and you don’t want to have to worry about that.
You get nods of agreement from your entire crew, though Roldan looks less than enthusiastic about this. He then speaks up again. “
So what is the plan captain?”
“You’ll find out when we board the vessel, now let’s go!” You shout, annoyed by his constant questioning and general insubordination.
Making sure all your weapons are fully loaded, you board the waiting rowboat and make your way towards the merchant ship which is slowly moving itself along with a few sailors using oars to push it forward. You order the crew to row faster and quickly get closer to the much larger merchant vessel. Within minutes you are hooking onto the rope ladders that allow easy access onto the ship from small boats.
You look up and suddenly feel a drop in temperature.
“Snow, it’s starting to snow!” One of the crewmen shouts.
You look up and indeed small snowflakes are falling. If the mission goes ahead then you’ll be glad of the snow as it will help you slip away from the ship but it also means you’ll leave clearer tracks as you leave.
You quickly make your way onto the merchant vessel with your crew right behind you.
The captain greets you all, apologizing for the slight delay and explaining that one of the sails needed repair before they could set off. He is a fat man, clean shaven with short dark hair. He wears very fine and expensive clothes and he speaks in a higher register than you would have expected from someone of his build and trade.
He immediately asks you all to introduce yourselves which you do, giving fake names and life stories that you all thought up on the journey over. The merchant captain smiles and nods as he listens, apparently satisfied with all your stories.
“Well now that introductions are over it’s time to start the festivities!” he says excitedly. “You’ve just made it in time for dinner!
I’m sorry there isn’t much food but as you can see we’re just waiting for the wind to pick up and then we’ll be on our way so until then let’s feast!”
He serves you all a large chicken soup with fresh bread, though by the time it has been ladled out to everyone it’s more like a thick broth with chunks of bread in it. Still, it’s quite tasty and you’re all grateful for such a feast after having nothing but dried provisions for the last few days.
The merchant captain smiles and chuckles as he watches you all eat. You all try to dig in as much as you can, knowing that you need the energy but this is a once in a month feast and you’re all reluctant to waste any.
You’re just finishing off the last of the broth when you hear the shout going up up on the deck telling you that the sails are ready and the ship is heading out to sea. You look out the porthole and can see that night has already fallen. The merchant captain goes up on deck and comes back down a few minutes later.
“Looks like we’re heading straight into a storm, I’m glad we left when we did. We should arrive in Pivnica in a couple of days but until then I think some of you might have to sleep in the cargo hold. It’s a bit of a walk to the beds, I hope you don’t mind the walk”.
The captain says this last bit with a slight tone of sarcasm in his voice. He knows there is no way that half of you are going into the cargo hold, not when there are beds available.
You all retire to the ship’s cabins, it’s quite the luxury after having been on a rowboat for several days and you’re all very tired from the journey so thankfully even Dom doesn’t cause too much trouble as you all settle down for the night.
The next morning you all wake up and make your way up on deck. You’re still quite a way from Pivnica but the ship is moving much quicker than it was last night and the captain tells you that they should get there sometime tomorrow.
He also tells you that before you arrived they were having a bit of bad luck with fishing, not managing to catch enough fish to both feed the crew and have some to sell when they reach Pivnica. He tells you that because of this they haven’t eaten very well and have been living off nothing but fish while the rest of their supplies have dwindled down to almost nothing. He looks you all over and gives a wicked little grin as he says
I guess things are looking up for us now though eh?”
He orders his men to set several of the nets out and then tells you all to help. You all spend the next few hours hauling up large nets full of fish. You’re all getting tired but the merchant captain looks like he’s having a great time, laughing and joking with his men as if he was one of them. He helps everyone else pull up the nets and doesn’t even complain how hard it is.
“I’ve not done this for a long time but my back feels great!” He tells you with a wink.
You all finally finish taking on board as many fish as you can from the nets and the captain tells you that you’re free to do whatever you want until you get to Pivnica.
“Though some of my men may be a little peeved by all this, so if any of you decide to go into the cargo hold, don’t be surprised if they start trying to pick fights.” He adds with a grin.
As you’re all heading to the hold to see if there is anywhere you can sleep for now, the captain calls one of you over. It’s Kol.
“My men and I have been over every inch of this ship looking for signs of these pirates you warned us about. We didn’t find any evidence that they were ever on board but we did find this in one of the storage lockers.”
He shows Kol a small glass bottle with a note in it. You and the rest gather around to see. The note is very small and tightly scrawled so that it’s almost impossible to read but you manage to make out the following words:
We know what you did.
What the hell does that mean?”
One of the sailors asks.
The merchant captain shrugs as he hands the bottle back to Kol.
“Don’t know. Some of these note leavers are pretty funny though. Think nothing of sneaking around and leaving clues to scare the bejeezus out of people.
I’d bet these pirates were some of the note leaver’s friends and he’s just trying to scare us by linking them to him.”
The captain chuckles as he says this, obviously finding the whole thing amusing, but you’re far from convinced and neither is Kol, who’s still looking nervous.
But who could have put it there?”
“Probably one of the sailors.” The captain says. “You said you came on board last so whoever left it must have done it after we docked and before you got here.”
“That’s a pretty big assumption to make. Anyone could have come on board in the few minutes between us docking and us coming on board.” You point out.
The captain shrugs and says “Maybe, but if you’re going to start accusing my men without any evidence then we’ve got a problem.”
This threat is met with silence from you all as none of you are really sure what to say. Then the captain bellows for someone to come help him and he heads off. You all troop down towards the hold to get some rest and find a spot where you can lie down.
Kol and the two other sailors who came on board with him go off to find somewhere else to sleep insisting that you lot have the spots near the hold. Not long after you’ve settled down to sleep the call to set sail comes and the sailors above your heads begin moving about noisily.
You try to get back to sleep but the thought of some unknown person leaving threatening messages around the ship and possibly even one of the sailors makes you too nervous to sleep well. You spend a few hours trying to sleep then give up and just lie there staring at the wooden ceiling of the hold. After a few minutes you notice that it’s gotten very quiet above you.
You sit up and see that the sailors are all gone and the light coming through the cracks in the hold’s walls is pink. You check your pocket watch and see that it’s nearly dawn.
Why are they leaving us down here?”
You hear Kol ask. “I really need to get some sleep.”
You all hear a few thumps coming from above you.
“They’ve left and locked us in!” One of the sailors exclaims in panic.
Then you hear a strange shuffling noise followed by several high pitched giggles. It’s then you notice the smell, a terrible stench of rotten meat that makes you choke and want to be sick. You see Kol trying to push his way through the hold’s door and up the steps but it’s jammed solid.
You and the other sailor try to help him but it’s no use, you can’t budge it.
What the hell is going on?”
The sailor next to you asks as noises begin coming from above, trampling feet and squeaking.
“Rats!” One of you shouts.
You shine your flashlight up through the hatch and are nearly blinded by a bright light beamed in your face from above. You hear the sailors cry out as they’re driven away then the hatch is slammed shut and you’re in total darkness again. More giggling noises from above and the sound of scampering rats, dozens of them.
“They’re eating us!” Someone shouts wildly and there’s a brief scuffle as two of your crewmen try to grab your flashlight.
“Stop it! We have to stay together, we have to block up the hatch!” You shout trying to get your flashlight back before a serious injury is done with it.
“It’s no use, they’ve already…” The sailor who was shouting that the rats were eating them falls silent.
You hear the sound of a body falling to the deck above you and a faint thud as it hits the floor of the hold. The smell of his blood taints the air and the rats go wild, squeaking and squealing as they race towards their fresh meal.
You manage to calm Kol down and get him to stop crying by lying and telling him that it’s alright, that you have a secret escape plan. Of course you have no such plan and the smell of blood from above has stirred the rats into a frenzy. They begin chewing through the bodies closest to the hatch, adding their fresh meat to the pile and your close proximity to the hungry creatures terrifies you.
You try comforting Kol but as the squeaking and chewing gets louder he slips into unconsciousness, whether this is a blessing or not you don’t know.
The next few hours are a living hell, the rats feast and you and the other sailor try to keep them away from Kol by bashing at them with any weapon you can lay your hands on. By the time Kol awakes from his drugged sleep there is little flesh left on any of your limbs and you’ve used up all your energy to give him a chance. You collapse and cry out as a rat gnaws at the meat of your ankle, feverishly trying to eat its way through your bone.
Your mind begins to slip towards unconsciousness and desperation as the drug keeps you from falling into a blissful slumber and Kol begins to scream as the rats attack him too. Kol’s mind has long since snapped, for him this is the horrors of the concentration camps, Borning Prison and the execution pit all over again. He begs and pleads with you to kill him but you’re barely able to move let alone kill a child.
You begin to laugh as your mind slips away into the blackness.
“I’m saved!” You shout as you drift off.
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