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Heirloom of a Thief

  • Written by Taylor Morgan
  • Inspired by Brian Jacques
  • Characters belonging to Taylor Morgan are Franko Mousethief, Feravel the Banshee of the Northlands, Dingott Squirrelsire, Celeste Mousethief, Badderig Badgermore, Kangon Ruddergail, Shrimpus Cloverfield, Lupe Cadanga, Brutus Swimmerpaw, Zeena the Healer, Captain Lukas, Captain Warptail, Fleabagg and Brokejaw.
  • Characters belonging to Brian Jaques are Abbess Meriam, Bella of Brockhall, Friar Bunfold, Dandin, Mariel, Keyla, and Bryony.
  • Characters by Brian Jacques Mentioned are Martin the Warrior, Gonff, Gonff II, Tullgrew, and Badrang.

Prologue

Dandin and Mariel sat by their campfire, Mariel threw small twigs and dry grass in the fire to keep it lit. Dandin opened his satchel and produced a reed flute, the great-grandson of Gonff took in a deep breath and started to tweedle the instrument, the sound of the flute told a story not by worda but by sound. Mariel imagine she was a bird and as the flute tweedled she was gaining and decreasing altitude, then Dandin played low notes and she imagined she was a burly mole digging tunnels. The finale, Dandin started playing rapidly, the sounds of the flute were like arrows and sword slashes, and finally Dandin held that note for at least 10 seconds. Mariel clapped her paws in amazement, Dandin was a musical sensation.

"What did you think, Mariel?"

Dandin asked as he took a bite of roasted cod. Mariel let out a small chuckle and sliced an apple caramelized in rich honey. The mousemaid warrior took a slice and popped in her mouth, a droplet of honey tricked down her lip as he munched on the succulent treat. She wiped the honey way with a cloth and began to give him her thought.

"It was amazing, Dandin, but personally I think the first and second part of the song could have been a little longer, I enjoyed my time as a bird and as a mole."

Dandin's ear's twitched and his eyebrows cocked.

"Bird, mole? Bless me, what do you mean?"

Dandin asked Mariel Gullwhacker. Mariel nibble on another slice of apple and explained.

"Mmmmph, mmm. When you were playing the high fluttery notes, I imagined I was a bird soaring through the sky and when you played the low notes, I imagined I was a mole digging a tunnel."

"Aaah, interesting, Mariel. Quite interesting. Hey, would you like to hear a story about my father Franko Mousethief?"

Dandin asked his mousey companion, Mariel shook her head in delight.

"Yes, I would, Dandin."

Mariel said excitedly.

"Well, Mariel. This flute is a key object in my father's tale about how he and his ragtag group of thieves, warriors, and protectors fought and overcame a tyrannical corsair ferret named Feravel the Banshee of the Northlands."

Book One: The Team

Chapter 1

Franko Mousethief, the son of Gonff II put on his sleevless tunic and buckled his belt, the Mouse Warrior twirled the reed flute around and placed by his hip, right next to his long dagger, Franko took in a deep breath and headed out the main gates. Franko was greeted by his team of theives and warriors: Dingott Squirrelsire was the team's scout, he wore a short sleeved brown tunic and wielded a curved long dagger, he was the scout and beast in charge of reconnaissance. Then there was Celeste Mousethief, the wife and partner in crime of Franko, she wore a plum colored gown with stave as her weapon of choice. Finally, there was Badderig Badgermore, the muscle of the group. He wore a sleeve torn robe and wielded a humongous double bladed axe, when the going got tough, Badderig made sure the tough got going.

"Alright, we are all here, ready to take some precious valuables that verminous claw are in possession of?"

Franko asked. The crew nodded in agreement. Celeste waltzed up to her husband and gripped his paw.

"So love, what are we stealing and who are we stealing from?"

Franko pulled out a map from his satchel and pointed towards the north.

"Right here, Celeste. In the Mountains of the Northlands."

Franko explained to his companions.

"Northlands, are we sure about this? A lot of wicked beast originate from that region."

Dingott said in worriment, Franko scoffed and chuckled.

"Oh Dingott, where's your sense of adventure, of course each diamond, ruby, pearl, gold coin, has been guarded by verminous scum, and we've been in and out no questions asked."

•••••

In the Northlands, Feravel the Banshee was a notorious warmonger, not only did he have an army of hundreds upon hundreds of vermin but he had an ear piercing scream that could be heard from yards away. He wore a a black long overcoat and scarf, his weapon of choice was a small sword at his hip, but that was his secondary weapon, his voice wad his main weapon. Feravel took in a deep breath and hollered out his battle cry.

"Gruuahaaaaaaaaa!!!"

This shook fear into the hearts of creatures that were getting attacked or attempted to overthrow him, his scream was so loud it could paralyze you for a brief second, if your ears were not trained to listen to it constantly. Fortuantely for Feravel's right paws such as Zeena the Healer, a female pine marten dressed in a red long robe and pike at her side, Captain Lukas, a ferret wearing a hooded tunic and spear resting on his shoulders, Captain Warptail, a ferret dressed in a sleeveless robe and dagger by his hip, and finally Fleabagg, a stoat wearing a hooded cloak and double bladed hatchet tucked under his belt. The vermin army was in the midst of a war against an otter clan, Kangon Ruddergail, he was dressed in a vest and wielding dual swords, his wife Shrimpus Cloverfield, she dressed in a sleeveless blouse and had a stave as her weapon of choice, Lupe Cadanga, he dressed in a vest and wieldes dual hatchets, and finally Brutus Swimmerpaw, he wore a vest scarf, and preferred his own paws be his weapons. The four waterdogs, hid deep in the water, using guerilla tactics to fight off Feravel and his horde of vermin. One of the vermin was a lone rat, he was investigating the area, as he took a step in the water, it was all over for him, Kangon grabbed the rat by both footpaws and he yanked on him down hard, the poor wretch was in the grasp of Kangon, the otter tightly gripped the rat's neck, choking him and drowning him as well, soon the rat let out air bubbles and floated to the top of the water, where he lay in his watery grave for all eternity.

•••••

In The Great Hall, Abbess Meriam kneeled down in front of the Tapestry of Martin. The Mother of Redwall Abbey clasped her paws together and closed her eyes.

"Martin please watch over Franko and his friends, he needs your guidance, and your protection."

The Abbey Mother whispered under her breath, Bella of Brockhall entered the room to see who was in there. The Badger Mother of the Abbey saw Meriam praying to the First Warrior of Redwall.

"Ah, Mother Abbess. I see you're asking Martin to give Franko and his team of thieves guidance and protection?"

"Yes, how'd did you know?"

Abbess Meriam asked in puzzlement and Bella let out a hearty chuckle.

"Oh hohohohoho, Meriam, when you have many seasons under your belt, you pick up on a thing or two."

Meriam nodded in agreement.

"I second that, Bella."

Meriam said to the Badger Mother.

"Friar Bunfold is making one of your favorite dinner: water chestnut stew with carrots, leeks, potatoes, and onions."

Bella announced to the Abbess. They both left The Great Hall and ventured to Cavern Hole, where everybeast sat patiently waiting for their Abbess and Badger Mother.

Chapter 2

Feravel and Zeena both jumped up on a rock, the ferret to in a deep breath and bellowed out.

"Listen up, we've been at war with a group of otters for the past 5 seasons, and it's time to gain the upperpaw. That is why I have devised a plan to lure them out into the open: we find their clan and enslave their women and children. Bring them back to my castle. Got it!?"

The vermins rapidly shook their heads. This irritated the ferret commander.

"I said: GOT IT!!?"

He screamed out, and this made the horde of vermin freeze up.

"Y-yes sir."

"I couldn't hear you."

"Yes sir!"

"That's better, now Captain Lukas, take your trackers and find me the clansground of those otters we are in the midst of war with. Don't engage and keep hidden in the shadows, best to play it safe at the moment, when you return I want to know where it is, understood?"

"Aye sire!"

"Good, now get going."

Lukas and his crew of trackers were off to find Kangon's clan of otters. Feravel kneeled down on the rock, he placed his arms on his knees and he smiled, the horde's healer noticed her commander was in a good mood.

"I see you're in a happy mood, my Lord."

She said to the confident ferret. Feravel turned his gaze to her, smiling.

"Oh I am, because I know Lukas is going to be leading me to my victory in no time. That is why I have faith in him. I know he won't fail me."

Zeena cocked her eyebrows and twitched her nose.

"What if he does fail you, then what?"

Feravel stood up and placed a paw on his Healer's shoulders.

"Then I'll scream into his ears til they pop and bleed."

Feravel proposing his threat to Zeena, Zeena let out a small chuckle.

"Excellent, what an excellent idea, my Lord."

"Thank you, but I have faith in my creatures, I know he will not fail me."

•••••

Badderig and Dingott brought back fire wood, the squirrel and badger threw the logs onto each other, and Franko began to lit them up. Soon enough, a toasty fire was set next to the crew of thieves. Franko unsheathed his flute and took in a deep breath, the grandson of Gonff began playing the instrument. His high notes were like a butterfly fluttering in the air, and his low notes were like burly creatures doing their day to day tasks. After Franko finished his song, he stood up and he took a bow, the beasts clapped their paws and whistled out for an encore, Franko's cheeks became red and he chuckled.

"Oh alright."

Franko sat back down and played the reed flute some more. After the song was over, Celeste gave everybeast a toasted scone and a roasted mackrel.

"Eat up, my friends. We have a long march ahead of us tomorrow."

She said in a sing song voice. The other beasts chuckled slightly and began eating their dinner. After their stomachs were full, the beasts decided to turn in for the night, Badderig took his axe and fanned the flames, he increased in speed and soon the fire was nothing than a tiny flame. Franko bent down and blew it out. The next morning, Franko and the rest packed up and set off north, Franko waltzed up to Badderig and gently shook the sleeping badger.

"Morning, my friend, time to wake up, we've got to be on our way."

Franko gently said to the slumbering stripedog, Badderig opened his eyes, and sat up. He yawned and stretched and was ready to go. The four beasts began their hike to the northlands.

Chapter 3

Kangon, Shrimpus, Brutus, and Lupe hiked through the woodlands of the Northlands, Kangon lead them back to their clan's location, their they met up with The Chieftain, the Patriarch of the tribe, he was an old grey furred otter with a slouch and walked with a staff, Kangon knew that their Chieftain's seasons were numbered. The Chieftain spoke in a quiet voice, barely above a whisper. He signalled Kangon to come to him, and the Otter Warrior did as he was bid. Kangon leaned near The Chieftain mouth and the leader whispered.

"I fell my seasons ending, Kangon my son, I want you to be the new Chieftain of our clan."

He whispered. Kangon cocked his eyebrows and questioned his leader.

"You can't be serious, sir. You've got better otters to lead us not me, I'm just a warrior, mere cannon fodder, a grunt."

This somewhat angered The Chieftain.

"Silence, Kangon! I say who becomes a the next Chieftain and I say it is you, Kangon. You and your friends have done so much for us, after I left Noonvale with my late wife Tullgrew I knew I needed to start this tribe, you know who inspired me?"

"Who, sir?"

"My friend Martin the Warrior, he came to me in a dream, and told me to lead a tribe of otters loyal and true, you are loyal and true, that is why I am making you the next Chieftain."

Kangon scratched his nose and the back of his neck.

"But sir, I am a warrior, there is no way for me to become a Chieftain, Chieftain's are supposed to be peaceful and modest, I am a lifetaker."

The Chieftain let out a deep sigh.

"I knew you were going to say that, that is because I sense in your heart that you want peace, yes I'm quite aware that you take lives, but you take the lives of those who do evil and wrongdoings to other creatures, we need somebeast like you to lead us, a well trained warrior."

The Chieftain explained to Kangon. Kangon bowed his head in respect and was dismissed.

"I shall fulfill my destiny, Chieftain Keyla."

•••••

Back at Feravel's castle, Feravel along with Captain Warptail stood watch on the ramparts. Feravel had a beaker of damson wine, he took a swig of the flavorful beverage and passed it to Warptail. Warptail took a big swig of wine and placed it on the wall's of the castle, this slightly angered Feravel.

"You dingbat, gimme that beaker, that was going to be a waste, what if the wind blew it or you accidently knocked it over?"

"S-sorry, sire, I won't do it again."

Warptail stuttered. Feravel gave the Captain a stern look.

"You better not."

•••••

Meanwhile at Redwall, Bella had a tough time juggling time with the Dibbuns and for herself, a Mole Dibbun played hide and seek underneath the Badger Mother's garments, while two Mouse Dibbuns used Bella as post to chase each other around, the poor badger's head throbbed until she couldn't take it anymore, she puffed out her chest and roared out.

"Enough!"

This stopped the Dibbuns dead right in their tracks, including the little mole hidding underneath the Badger Mum. The tyke got out from under her gown. The tall badger gave all three stern no nonsense glances at them.

"Dandin you and your friends have been driving me up the wall since this morning, what would your father think of this?"

The little mousebabe known as Dandin looked down and shifted his eyes around, this irritated Bella and her voice became booming.

"Dandin Mousethief, look at while I talk to you."

The young mouse looked up at Bella, demanding an explaination, instead he gave her an excuse.

"Because, my papa let's me behave this way, I know it he says so, uh huh!"

Bella foldes her arma and let out a big puff of breath, the Badger Mother was not amused by his excuse.

"I've got more seasons than you, young one. Try again."

This time, Dandin knew that his excuses would not fly with the Badger Mum. He took in a deep breath and poured his heart out.

"Because the older beast here in the Abbey are all funstealers, it's a do your chores, don't run, come here, go there. Us Dibbuns need to have our playtime."

Bella's stern face turned into a contented smile.

"I remember when I was your age, I always wanted to be playing in the meadows of Salamandastron, but my father Boar the Fighter was strict, just as my grandsire Brocktree. Heh, even Franko was just like you when he was a young Dibbun, like father like son, as they say."

Chapter 4

Franko and Celeste lead the hike this time, they gazed at the foliage, sycamore trees, wild flowers, and neetles. While Franko and Celeste were in the front, Dingott and Badderig covered the rear. Something was bothering Dingott's mind, these thief expeditions were usually a short hike, but this was more than a hike, it was a trek. The distance from Redwall Abbey and the Northlands was tremendous, it took weeks, months, even seasons to get there. The squirrel scratched the top of his head and gave a look of puzzlement. Dingott decided to ask the burning questioned.

"Um, Franko. Why are we headed to the Northlands?"

Franko kept walking but slightly turned his gaze to his companion.

"Why do you ask?"

"Well, um, because with these thief expeditions, we usually hike a few miles, but with this one, we'll be away from Redwall for at least a season or 2, there has to be more to this than just a thief expedition."

Franko stopped and held up the rest and he turned to his squirrel friend.

"Well, Dingott, if you must know, Martin the Warrior spoke to me in a dream, he told me to journey to the Northlands to fight a ferret named Feravel, and bring aid to a tribe of Otters, their Chieftain was an old friend of Martin. Keyla the Otter."

Dingott smiled at the mouse's answer.

"I should've known, Martin sent us."

"So what if he did?"

Franko rebutted. Dingott let out a sigh and smiled.

"Because, if Martin sends us to a location, then it goes to shoe we are doing something good for Redwall Abbey and Mossflower Woods."

"Exactly, Dingott."

"But why did you try and keep it from us, Franko?"

The squirrel asked. Franko Mousethief scratched his nose and the back of his neck.

"Well, the reason why I kept a secret is because if we were about to join in a war with a clan of otters than to steal valuables, I thought you would all desert me."

Dingott let out a chuckle and a sigh, the squirrel put a paw on the shoulder of their mouse leader, and gave a contented smile.

"Franko Mousethief, you well know we'll follow you to Hellgates and back, not only are we a team, but we are also friends."

Franko smiled and wiped a tear of joy from his eye.

"Thank you, you all, I am grateful. Now, let's go!"

Franko resumed the journey to the Northlands, this time there were no secrets kept from each other.

•••••

In the sleeping quarters of the Northlands' Castle, Feravel was taking a nap, whilst the ferret took a nap, a rat wearing a cap and short belted tunic named Brokejaw was guarding the door, he spotted Zeena the Healer approaching the rat guard.

"How is he, Brokejaw?"

Brokejaw spoke in a stammer.

"He he he he he he, is doing g-g-good, m'lady."

"Great, that voice of his sure does put a strain on his body, I hope he doesn't use it too much or he may never speak again."

Brokejaw scratched his nose and asked the healer am important question.

"M-m-m-m-m'lady, wh-wh-wh-where is C-c-c-captain Lukas?"

Zeena let out a sigh of amusement.

"You know, I am not a seer, I cannot tell where he."

"Oh, I-I-I-I see."

••••

Lukas and his trackers were getting close to the clan of otters. The ferret sniffed the air and a wicked smile was produced on his face.

"Mates, we're getting close."

Chapter 5

Kangon and company were at the riverside fishing for fresh water shrimp. Otters were famous for their hot leek and fresh water shrimp soups. One could say it was too hot for anybeast that wasn't prepared. Lupe sat on a rock by a bank, he placed a javelin on his lap and smiled at his crew of otters fishing, but they were being watched from afar. One of Lukas' trackers was hiding in the treetops, the weasel took out his bow, nocked an arrow and fired. The arrow wisped past Kangon, Shrimpus, and Brutus, and hit Lupe square in the shoulder, the otter leader yelped and doubled over in pain. Kangon and the others emerged quickly out of the water and sprinted out of the water. The weasel smiled arrogantly at his wounded target.

"That'll show 'em not to mess with Feravel."

He said to himself, the weasel then climbed down the tree, he initially planned to just fire an arrow at them, but his arrogance clouded his mind. He drew a cutlass from his belt and ran towards the 3 otters helping their commander.

••••

Lukas and the other trackers sat by a campfire, snacking on oatmeal scones they had brought from the castle's kitchens. Lukas scarfed his portions of scone down greedily like a pig. One of his trackers turned to him and shamefully shook his head.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk. Sir, you must stop eating all at once, we may need to save some just in case they're out farther in the countryside."

Lukas wiped the crumbs from his lips and gave a death glare to his tracker.

"Shuddup, weasel. I know where I am going and I know how far they are, the tribe of otters is very close by and I can smell them, so don't tell me how to live, I'm not a whimpering cub, I am Captain Lukas of Feravel's Army, got it?"

"Uggh, yes sir."

Lukas cocked his eyebrows and stands up towering over the weasel tracker.

"Listen up, weasel. I don't need your sass, alright. If I want to scarf my rations, I will. Got it, now if I hear any back sass or complaining from you or anybeast here, I will drive my dagger into his stomach, gut him, then wrap his intestines around his neck. Got it!?"

The weasel tracker changed his attitude and simply nodded to his commander. Lukas' facial expression was even more irriated. He finally spoke in a bit of a stammer.

"Y-yes s-sir..."

"I couldn't hear you, friend."

"Yes sir!"

"Good now, let's eat, drink, and be easy."

Lukas sat back down to finish his breakfast.

••••

Back at the riverside, Kangon and the weasel engaged in combat, pike and sword clashed together, the weasel and otter kept hacking and slashing at each other, Kangon ducked down and used his pike handle to sweep from under the weasel's footpaws. The vermin creature fell flat on his back and scrambled to get up, Kangon reached down grabbing the weasel by the scruff of his belted tunic and he lobbed the verminous creature into the water, the weasel emerged from the water, and shouted at the otter.

"Is that the best you can do, waterdog?"

Little did the weasel know, those waters were notorious for being plagued by pike fish. The weasel felt a little nibble on his left footpaw's toes then they shortly became aggressive bites, the weasel howled in pain, until an entire school of pike swarmed the poor wretch, turning water from blue to red. The only reason why the pikes didn't attack the otters were because otters are their natural enemy. Shrimpus took a handful of healing herbs and a bandage, and she wrapped Lupe's injured shoulder.

"How do you feel, sir?"

She asked with a concerning voice. The otter leader gave out a halfhearted chuckle.

"Not as bad now, one things for certain, I won't be using this arm again."

He laughed. The other three companions joined him in his chuckle.

Chapter 6

Franko and Dingott were fishing by the riverside, when a little baby toad popped up out of the water.

"Gruugh, I see two beasties fishin' in me water, papa Bull be very mad, gurrg!"

He squeaked, dingott laughed and shooed the tiny toad away, butvthe stubborn creature did not budge, this made Dingott irate.

"Go on, go on I say."

"Papa don't like other beasties in his water, he make them his slaves, gruuugh!" "Get out of here you little wretch, can't you see we are trying to fish for some dinner!"

Franko shouted at the little nuisance. The baby toad would not move an inch, the toad then inflated his throat and let a gigantic croak. All of a sudden the river became more rapid, and a giant toad wearing a lily pad as a cloak and a a purple water lily as a crown. He carried a long reed as his scepter. When the amphibians talked he had a low growl to his voice.

"Grrrooough, these beasts be leavin' or a be my slaves, for the rest of their seasons."

The giant toad growled. Dingott threw down his rod and shook a fist at the toad.

"What if we resist?!"

Dingott questioned. The toad produced an evil smile on his face.

"Then we kill you, kill you all we will!"

He responded. Franko put down his rod and stood by his squirrel comrade.

"There is only one of you and two of us, toad."

The toad shook his big head in disagreement, he then puffed out his chest and let out a big croak that sounded more like a belch. The water ripples and shimmered until a 5 rows of 10 toads emerged from the water.

"Gruuuooogh, I have the upper claw, gruuuughahahahahah!"

He laughed, his son the baby toad danced around and taunted in a sing song voice.

"Beasties gonna get it, beasties gonna get it!"

Dingott gritted his teeth and Franko placed a ready paw on the hilt of his long dagger. Dingott readied himself in a fighting stance as did Franko, the army of toads hopped out of the water, producing gurgling laughs and wicked smiles.

•••••

Far upstream from the same river, Kangon, Shrimpus, Brutus, and Lupe heard a the sounds of toads croaking and weapons clashing.

"Did you hear that?"

Kangon put a paw to his ear and he leaned closer to the ground.

"I hear a scuffle, it's down at the east bend of the river, c'mon."

Kangon ran towards the source, and the otters followed him.

•••••

Franko and the toad king clashed dagger with scepter upon each other, the toad king was on the offensive while Franko defended himself. Dingott picked up a reed pike and began hitting the toads in the torsos and heads, the agile squirrel jumped up and landed on a toad's head, before the fat creature could grab the squirrel, Dingott performed a backflip off of his enemy's head. Franko slashed at the toad's scepter would not show signs of damage. The toad let out a gurgle laugh, and swung his scepter over the mouse's head. Franko blocked the attack and parried. The scepter flew right of out the toad's webbed claws, but this didn't stop the mad amphibian, not by a long shot. The toad leaped up high in the air and landed on the mouse, as he landed on top of Franko, Franko's long dagger was plunged into the water. Dingott saw the giant toad overpower his friend, so he went into a headlong sprint, but his downfall was his bushy tail, a toad hopped up and snatched the squirrel's tail, an army of toads pinned the treewolloper to the ground. The king toad sat on the mouse's body, his webbed claws wrapped around Franko's neck.

"Gruuugh, I give you one last chance, slavery or die."

"Foolish creature, I die a free beast."

The toad king produced a small stone club from behind his back, the wicked amphibian curled his lips, this was it, Franko Mousethief was going to die. The frog swung his club in a downward motion, but it abruptly stopped when the sounds of toads made their last croaks, a row of dead toads were flung into the air, and the smile upon the toad king's face faded into a face of shock and confusion. A tall otter threw the toad king off of Franko, lended him a helping paw, he then retrieved the mouse's long dagger and gave it to Franko.

"Thanks, but who are you?"

The otter smiled and responded in a hearty voice.

"My name's Kangon and I've come to help you."

Franko curled his lips in a smile of hop. He then smiled at the toads with his long dagger held up high. Kangon drew two dual swords and smiled as well, the two compatriots charged in the frey and began slaying the toads. Dingott eventually got free and assisted the two, he picked up the reed pike and helped slay the toads left and right, the baby toad hopped away and retreated into the water. The toad king commanded his troops to surround the three furred animals. Franko, Dingott, and Kangon were back to back, they readied themselves for what could possibly be the final battle or was it. Because, Shrimpus and Brutus came in with slings and stones a started slaying the water beasts left and right, and Lupe was charging in to help Kangon and his new friends. Despite having a sling over his arm, Lupe charged in with broadsword in hand and slayed a small group of toads, Franko, Kangon, and Dingott helped Lupe out. The four hacked and slashed their way through the army of toads, the battle seemed to go on for hours upon hours. The toad king became furious and he stomped the ground. He then commanded his toads to focus on Lupe, they did as he commanded. In a unified hop they all piles up onto the otter leader, the ground shook with tremendous force, it knocked Franko and Kangon away. Lupe was shouting to his comrades.

"Go, escape!"

"I can't leave you here!"

Kangon shouted.

"Get out of here, now!"

The 5 beasts made a dashing retreat, while the toads overpowered Lupe was overpowered by the toads. Kangon ran but when he looked behind him he saw the toad king deliver a hefty blow to Lupe's skull. A gruesome crack was echoed throughout the land and Kangon fell to his knees. The otter grabbed patches of grass and started throwing it around. The otter screamed and cried tears of rage over the loss of Lupe. Franko attempted to pick Kangon up but he shoved the mouse away, Franko and Dingott left tp go back to their camp. Shrimpus and Brutus followed the mouse and squirrel. Kangon watched in horror as the toads lobbed Lupe's body in the water.

••••

Back at the camp, Celeste and Badderig were drinking from their canteens. Soon enough they spotted Franko, Dingott, Shrimpus, and Brutus.

"You two are back, have you caught anything?"

Celeste asked, but Franko silently shook his head. Dingott responded in the same way, and they both sat down on a log. Celeste saw the two otters leaning themselves on a tree trunk.

"Who are these two?"

Celeste asked, Shrimpus looked at Celeste and explained.

"I am Shrimpus, this is Brutus. We are the Otter Warriors of the Northlands, we have traveled this far south to find the one called Franko Mousethief. We have found him."

Celeste placed a paw on the hilt of her dagger.

"What do you want with him, eh?"

"Calm down, Celeste. These otters have came to help us as we have come to help them."

Franko intercepted. Celeste loosened her grip on her dagger and chuckled embarrassingly.

"Sorry about that, thoughtless."

"Apology accepted."

Shrimpus said as she took a low bow to them. Brutus smiled and sat down, Badderig scratched his head then looked at Shrimpus.

"He hasn't said a word, what with him?"

"Oh Brutus, he's a beast of action not conversation, he rarely says two words."

Shrimpus responded to the badger's question. A few minutes had past and the otters fully affiliated themselves with Franko, Celeste, Dingott, and Badderig. All of a sudden they heard ruffling and rustling in the bushes, all 6 beasts sprang up and readied their weapons, however, it was only Kangon. Kangon sat down on the log next to Franko and Dingott, the otter was covered in blood from head to footpaw, and he was shaking. Shrimpus saw that it wasn't his blood, and offered her otter comrade some water. Kangon grabbed the canteen of H2O and poured it on his blood stained fur. Kangon began to speak.

"I killed those wretched toads, I killed them all."

•••••

Meanwhile elsewhere, Lukas and his trackers hid in the treetops looking down at Keyla's tribe tents.

End of Book One

Book Two: Newly Alliance

Chapter 7

Franko, Celeste, Dingott, and Badderig listened to Kangon's proposal.

"I want you to come with Shrimpus, Brutus, and I. We want you to meet our Chieftain Keyla, he was an old friend of Martin. He's been having visions about a group of woodlanders lead by a mouse wielding a long dagger and reed flute."

"How queer, because a few nights ago I had a dream that was sent from Martin about you and your Chieftain. I would be delighted to help you fight the one called the 'Banshee of the Northlands'."

Kangon raised his eyebrows in surprise.

"Well enough chit-chat, let's move."

"I agree, but it's getting late, Kangon. I think we need to rest to build our strength."

Franko responded as he used a giant leaf to fan out the flames, the heat from the fire kept the woodlanders warm for the night.

•••••

Feravel and Zeena lined up their slaves and captives up for an event called "Career Day," where each beast would assigned a task to do for the rest of his seasons. Usually the male beasts would be assigned the back breaking labors, such as: mining, building, and crafting. Whereas the women beasts or children beasts would subjugated to gardening or tending to Feravel's every need. Fleabagg and Warptail had ropes binding the creatures paws behind their backs. The creaturess consisted of mice, hedgehogs, and squirrels. Feravel kneeled down to one of the hedgehogbabes, and patted him on the head and gave a content smile to the little one. The ferret Chief stood back up and commanded his vermin to place the appropriate beasts in the right job categories.

••••

At Keyla's camp, Lukas and his trackers approached the tents with caution, their weapons drawn. Lukas smiled menacingly.

"Remember, we kill their Chieftain then retreat back to the Castle."

"But didn't Feravel say---"

Lukas interrupted one of his tracker rats.

"Shut up, rat. This plan is better. I just know it."

Lukas whispered sharply. The ferret and his trackers continued forward to infiltrate the tribe of otters and kill Keyla.

•••••

Franko had a dream, no, a vision that Martin had sent him, Franko saw Feravel, Zeena and the hordebeasts, Feravel was gazing over a row of tents and huts buring away, the ferret laughed evilly and raised his fists in the air. The sounds of maniacal laughter grew louder and louder, until the mouse jolted out from his sleep. Franko glanced around the camp, he was the only one who was awake. The Mousethief laid back down and resumed rest. Later on that night, Kangon awoke and quietly eased out of his sleeping sack, the otter fastened his belt buckle and threw on his vest, and equipped his dual swords. He looked back at his sleeping comrades and quietly and swiftly made his exit, he was headed to his camp, he had a suspicion that his tribe was under attack.

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