Book One: Two Households Edit
Toobil and his gang had been shoed from the kitchens again. Birl Gully had shoed them off and they had ran off. They had kept on running until they ran into Kolun Galedeep,who had just emerged from the waterfull curtian of The High Queen Rhulain's room. He winked at them and whispered " I take it you've come to see Queen Tiria's newborn" He beckoned them in. Leatho Shellhound looked up and saw them standing quietly there. He beckoned them closer and whispered " She was born this morning. Toobil dutifully trotted over with his gang in his trail. Standing on tip-paw, they gazed at the tiny newborn otterbabe. the little babe stared solemnly back through sleepy dark eyes. Soft infant fur fuzzed out from her chubby cheeks, and a small pink tongue-tip showed as she yawned contently. Tiria gently whispered " Her name is Spring".
Chapter One, Sixteen Years laterEdit
Spring had grown into a healthy young ottermaid. She was perfect at slinging as her mother was and a great javelin thrower. She was a sleek swimmer too. She was loved by all otterbabes and dibbuns too. She had visited Mossflower a few times and skillfully dealt with vermin. One springing morning when she and the otter clans of green isle were visiting she was out in the orchard playing with the dibbuns. Abbess Lycian and Leatho were watching her.
Abbess Lycian said " Your daughter is such a lovely gentle ottermaid" Leatho said "Don't let Spring's compassion around babes fool you marm, she fought along our warriors many a time. Not only that but first vermin to harm a babe would be last thing they ever did" Abbess Lycian could truly believe this. She was so much like her mother. Spring was walking with a couple dibbuns on her shoulders."Mother Abbess marm,it's time for breakfast, you better hurry before all the otters eat it all" Abbess Lycian rose from her chair "I heard it's blueberry scones with honey and clover butter, just let them try eat it all" Laughing the group ran to the abbey. Little did they know a cloud of great darkness hung near.
Chapter Two, PerilEdit
Rawbone the Bane was a blood red fox. He had a whip,scimitar, and many daggers as weapons. His titles were Rawbone the Bane, Rawbone the Scourge, Rawbone the Ruthless, Rawbone the Assasin, Rawbone the Cold-Blooded, Rawbone the Slayer and much more. He was hungry for blood! His horde consisted of ferrets,weasels,rats,ermine, wildcats, waterrats, pine martens. It was a vicious horde. They lay in wait in the northern forests of Green Isle, as afternoon sunlight slanted down from the treetop.
Rawbone sat beneath a withered magnolia tree, devouring roast wild pheasant and licking his plate clean. He glanced up and smiled as he saw Voku, the weasel scout he had sent.
"Any news on the riverdogs?"
Despite his bad reputation, Rawbone considered himself on all counts a gentlebeast. He kept this in mind as he stood to greet Voku.
"No my lord."
The thin weasel bowed low.
"What exactly do ye plan t'do, Sire?"
Rawbone grinned slyly, revealing slightly off-white teeth.
"I'll tell you all in good time, Voku. In the meantime you just do what I say."
Voku looked slightly irate. He knew that his species had a long history of being underpaw lackeys, and it annoyed him deeply. He craved to be the exception (besides of course, Ferahgo the Assassin) and Rawbone knew this, and would use it to the scout's advantage.
"You're dismissed. Go and have fun with your little friends."
Rawbone smiled warmly.
Voku hurried off to eat lunch with his fellow hordebeasts.
The overambitious weasel stopped dead in his tracks and turned around on the paw-worn path.
"Any news you forgot to tell me?"
Rawbone's deep brown eyes were drilling into Voku. He gulped and looked away.
"Yes. My apologies. That ottermaid; Queen Tiria an' one of her children, Spring were visitin' Mossflower today with some other riverdogs. From what I heard they'll be back any time now."
Rawbone couldn't have been happier.
"Excellent. NOW you are dismissed!"
Voku scuttled off.
Rawbone laid back against the trunk of the tree and glanced at the soft pink petals that had fallen all around him. The fox looked ill-fitting sitting there, with his cracked ceramic plate and his prized slim-bladed throwing dagger with the red diamond in its hilt. The diamond matched the color of Rawbone's fur almost perfectly and he liked this fact.
Smiling, Rawbone threw his dagger into the air and caught it skillfully. Not even his own horde was aware of what he planned to be doing to the otterclans of Green Isle; and what he wanted from them in return.....
Chapter Three: Sibling Rivalry Edit
The mighty, frothy surf pounded against the slick sun-warmed rocks jutting out of the greenish sea as the two young otters fenced in the late spring sun.
“C’mon Het! Ye can do better than that. Yore going soft because ye think I’m gettin’ gray, aren’t you?”
The two fencing otters were none other than Hetfield, the prince of Green Isle, and his self-appointed fencing instructor, Toobil Galedeep, two seasons older than him at eighteen.
Sinewy and well-muscled, Toobil was as strong as an ox and was so wild he made Hetfield look obedient and well-mannered (which he was not.) His left arm was covered in tattoos, and half of his right ear had been taken off by a seagull that had gotten too close for comfort. His eyes were a stunning shade of dark gray, like gathering storm clouds, and he was clad simply in just a tattered white tunic, and black breeches ripped at the knee.
“No! I’m just as good as ever. Just you wait.”
With a mischevious grin, Hetfield’s rapier clashed with Toobil’s claymore, producing a deep, ringing Clang! Hetfield was young, muscular and headstrong, just like Toobil. Perhaps that was what had brought them together. Hetfield’s eyes were a somber brown, matching up well with his black fur. He wore the same outfit as Toobil, but with medium-brown breeches.
On and on the two otters fenced, until Toobil was exhausted and had to sit down.
“Maybe I AM…. Going gray, Hetfield….. I dunno……. The way you’re beating everyone at the court so easily I’m not…. Surprised….”
Hetfield leaned on his rapier and shaded his eye with one paw, glancing at the blue afternoon sky. Toobil jumped to his footpaws, hearing a melodious laugh coming from the north.
A spirited young ottermaid stepped forward, clad in a medium turquoise hooded cloak that matched her sea-green eyes, and a chainmail tunic beneath. She hefted a sling loaded with a lump of red granite. It was Hetfield’s younger sister Kiandra, three years younger at thirteen.
“You two idiots are going to get yourselves killed out there!”
“Well you better watch your mouth, you little palace upstart!”
Toobil snarled, temper getting the better of him.
“Having an attitude like that is goin’ t’get ye killed someday!”
Hetfield grimaced. He didn’t enjoy his sister’s company much either.
“Just… I don’t know, practice with your sling and leave us alone.”
Kiandra snorted rebelliously. It was clear she wasn’t going anywhere.
“I’m not moving. Because I have something to tell you! Something IMPORTANT.”
Hetfield felt his annoyance slipping away.
“What is it?”
Kiandra’s impudence faded a bit.
“Can you ask nicely?”
“Can you PLEASE tell me what it is?”
“I just went with a patrol to the mountains in the north. Mom and Spring are coming home."
Hetfield's look changed to one of surprise.
The otter put his rapier away.
"Yep! See you!"
And with that, the hyperative ottermaid raced off to meet her mother and older sister.
"Some firestarter of a sister ye got there."
Toobil commented, shielding his eyes with his brow as he looked at the son. Hetfield stepped forward. It wasn't like Toobil to be silent.
"Something wrong, mate?"
Toobil nodded a bit and spat.
"It's those treacherous scum the Rainclaws again. Fancy that; Green Isle otters turning against their monarchs!"
"Toobil, Lucian Rainclaw is a coward and a liar. Don't listen to anything he or his clanbeasts say; and if a war comes by hell's teeth we'll be ready for them!"
"As sure as hellgates, matey."
Toobil licked his blade wistfully. Hetfield turned aside and glanced over the crest of the hill, seeing a small group of longboats arriving on the beach. He thought he could make out Kiandra running towards Spring, and Spring hugging her and clapping her on the back.
"I'd better get going."
Hetfield straightened his sword-belt and ran down to the beach to greet his mother and sisters.