In Chapter 87, while Dabwick meditated, a vision from earlier days in Cassomir was revealed:

***

The rest of the world blurs around the edges as Dabwick falls into their name; written and spoken, given and claimed, “Dabwick of Cassomir” was revealed to the world in the Fall of 4705, thirteen years ago: the year the bats came to Quickfall Abbey.

Quickfall Abbey is a ruined temple located in the center of the Abbey Green district of Cassomir. The abbey was once–as the High Temple to the God Aroden–the center of Cassomir, but over the past century, it has died, just as Aroden did… molded over into a haunted, derelict apportion of city space that was best avoided, especially at night.

In 4705, to the distress of anyone living nearby, multiple colonies of bats were drawn to the area: Hipposideridae, a leaf-nosed, red-haired, unusually aggressive bat. They filled the skies at night, screaming and flapping their leathery wings and driving fear into the heart of the community. Children howled in terror, parents barred the windows, nobody slept. Tempers mounted. Fights became commonplace. A dread sorrow of helplessness sank deep into the soul of the populace.

Now Dabs wasn’t known then. They were still just a kid, really. Beginning to Understand things around the City, doing lots of observing, and trying to stay out of trouble.

After they’d moved to the surface full-time, the language and mannerisms were easier to pick up and they got along as many street urchins do in large cities like this: a little scavenging, a few odd jobs here and there. Mostly, they survived on opportunity and observation. And luck, of course.

Dabwick noticed the tensions mounting among the humans and decided They Should Do Something. And if you were paying attention, you might have noticed what looked like an eerily serious child marching down the alleyways, calling out…

The thing with bats, see,
They’re just like you and me!
We’ve nothing to be afraid of,
They’re insectivores, Love!

It was all so frustrating. The Longshanks got it all wrong, as always. They think EVERYTHING has to do with THEM all the time.

We need to educate them, eh? Help them to Understand what we Understand.

They kept trying.

Our bat friends are not here to cause distress!
They’ve come from the forest, to decompress!
They came here to rest, and it’s all for the best!
Come springtime, they’ll likely return to their nests!

Unfortunately, Dabwick’s poems weren’t drawing enough attention and Dabs overheard some of the People talking about hiring spellcasters to take the bats out by blasting the sky with fire!

Desperate for inspiration, Dabwick dug deep into their connection to the City, deep into their Understanding. Bats’ natural environment is the dark – they are near blind – but Hipposideridae are not totally blind. They can sense light.

What if the lights from the city windows, three stories tall in Abbey Green, were messing with the bat’s nocturnal rhythms? If they did come from the Blackwood Swamp, the bats were probably disoriented by the evening atmosphere of Cassomir, which had light pouring from windows and street torches until dawn.

With a renewed purpose for finding a way to get People’s attention, the halfling tied a handkerchief to the end of a branch and began waving it about as they chanted their messages. And they called out confidently the most absurd cadence heard in the area before or since:

Candlesticks give too much light
So dab your wicks after midnight,

Dab your wicks after midnight
To save us from this batty plight!

The light! The light! Bats need the night!
Without darkness, they’ve gone to flight!

So dab your wicks after midnight
And quiet the bats trespass outright!

That stuck. Dabbers had cracked the code of rhyme and reason and somehow created a message that started to filter through the community. People started to point and take notice, hear what Dabs was saying.

That dusky looking halfling kid with the piercing eyes and the sad little flag was saying something that made some sense. It was worth a try. Turn out the lights, (or “shade them we don’t have to go without” as many a wise mother would say) and the bats may have an easier time navigating and wont stay up all night being a nuisance.

That kid. That “dab-wick” kid.

That Dabwick.

First Reference: Chapter 87
Other Notable References:

 

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