Liberty

I got a bad feeling about this

Sonsday the 7th of Ready’reat 381 ONT, 1:32pm, Dogwood Pass Air, lowlands, south of Eiradun

Thud Thud

Cholo jumped from the deck of the air ship with the heavy coils and quickly lashed the ship to the branches. He looked a long hearing the creaking of the breeze through the long dead branches of the tree and quickly recalled another reason why he hated Dogwood Pass as a resting stop. He turned and called to his companion a tall strong Lutrae known as Huey.

“let’s get some more methane for the balloons and get the ship ready to go before we go meet with Athne, I don’t want to be hear and longer than we have to” the Otter nodded to Cholo, his hedgehog friend, and jumped onto the branch and to begin the work. That being taking care of Cholo straightened his jacket and worked his way toward the truck where a large deck and bar had been built many years before. The branch was thick and filled with many small creatures running back and forth maintaining the few air ships that came in. He turned back and looked to his pride and joy. The Flitter Jay, she wasn’t much to look at, an old scrap heap many might call her, the methane balloons weren’t even being made anymore… most folks wanted their ships to be magic… but that required a magic user that you trusted on board… Cholo had no use for charlatans, as long as he had Huey, and enough coin to keep that old girl flying… well that was enough. He strode into the bar and sad down in a corner seat where he had a good view of the front door and the hall to the back. He ordered an acorn of ale and sat slowly sipping it waiting for Huey to return. Unfortunately luck was not with him on this day. As he saw a large toad come in carrying a jagged angry looking blade. The toad made eye contact and slid into his booth opposite him. Cholo put on his best smile

“Glarg… how nice to see you…” he started in a friendly tone “What brings you to Dogwood Pass”

“Yuuuuuuurrrrrp, burrrrrrble burp Yurp” the toad croaked, Glarg had never learned to speak the common tongue, though he understood it well enough, he always replied in anphib.

“Athne’s looking for me? Well I’m here to see her now, so she’s in luck”

“Glaaarrrck, Yurp YUUUUUURRRP”

“A bounty? Cause I’m a little late?”

“Yurrrrp”

“What’s a couple of months between friends?”

“Yurrrrrp, glock, throng Yurrrp”

“Now listen here ya big sack of warts! That run wasn’t my fault, things are getting tighter and tighter, and if you’ll just let me”

“Yurp, burb yurp…” Cholo had had enough, he’d seen Glargs hand tightening on his blade and wasn’t waiting to see how things were going to play out, he slammed the table forward pinning Glarg in his seat while simultaneously springing to his feet, drawing his knife and slashing the frog’s throat. Not waiting around he tossed a few coins on the table and left, deciding he had to go talk to Anthe and get the bounty taken off before things got really out of hand.

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Evil... It's a Growth Industry

Selwynsday the 6th of Ready’reat 381 ONT, 4:45pm, Council Chambers, The Castle of Methulsala, Red Wall

Grand Admiral Thrawn entered the council chamber room in the high temple at the centre of the city of Redwall. He looked up and down the ruling council and was not impressed; on the far left end of the elongated rhombus table sat a tall golden Mink known as Grand Vizier Henrik Amedda. The creature was intelligent no doubt, known to be a schemer and have ears amongst all the Littles in Redwall, but often got caught up in his own schemes. To the right of the Grand Vizier sat Imperial High Councillor Janus Pestage a black footed ferret who shored up most of Lord Shepards Logistical issues. Janus was good at her job, yet had little understandings of the why behind her job. Further to the left still sat Acting Sub Secretary Kren Vanee a very large and portly brown furred Weasel. Kren dealt with the legal end of things, keeping the courts the police and the intelligence moving, Kren would likely be a problem later.

“Grand Admiral Thrawn…” the Vizier said in a deep baritone. “Welcome to the Imperial Council. Our message from Lord Shepard was a little obscure however…” Thrawn cut him off, he was at least two heads larger than the biggest of them being a Wolverine, and had little patience for drabble.

“I think the Lord’s letter was very clear… I am to rule in his stead, until such a time as he see fit to return… do any of you have a problem with this?” he bore his teeth as he spoke; the council members were unhappy but none chose to argue. “good… then let us get to work, there are a number of ineffienceies that may lead to weaknesses that I want us to begin correcting at once”

He ascended steps to the throne that had been placed here after the last of the Guard Mice had been killed off and sat down. It was a tight fit, but the symbolism was important.

“High Councilor Pestage… Let us begin with the uniforms for our soldiers”

“Yes Grand Admiral?” she said looking up at him

“I want the uniforms changed… first they appeared to be based on an old Guard Mouse Motif… get a designer to change that”

“Why?” she asked… he glared at her fighting back the fury that rose in his blood

“First and most importantly… BECAUSE I TOLD YOU TO YOU TWIT!” he roared causing the three to flinch. At that moment any who thought that the Grand Admiral might be easier to wrok with then Lord Shepard himself were reassessing that evaluation. “Secondly, because the Guard Mice are extinct… let’s give our men something more positive to strive towards then being sort of like a race that got wiped out” he looked around the room trying to see if his message was getting though “and another thing, quick show of hands on how many of you have tried on a Wyzel helmet recently?” no hands arose, “who implemented the new helmet design? The full faced ones?” the Grand Vizier raised his hands

“focus groups show that they are very intimidating Sir” the Grand Vizier said in his silky smooth voice

“but you never tried one on?”

“No Sir, I am afraid I have not had that pleasure” the Grand Vizier said a little unsure of where this is going

“That is a shame… because if you had tried one on… you would have discovered that YOU CAN’T SEEM A GODS BE DAMNED THING WHILE WEARING THE PIECE OF SHIT! WHAT IS THE USE OF A HELEMT OF OUR MEN CAN’T SEE THEIR ENEMIES WHILE WEARING THEM” spittle flew from his mouth as he roared at the council members, the three shrunk a little in fear but the High Councillor quickly scribbled a note to have the issue corrected. Thrawn sighed and ushered for the door, it opened and a small Chippious boy stepped in.

“Everyone…” the Grand Admiral said “this is Derek, our new special advisor” the Grand Admiral gestured to the Chippous, a boy of maybe 12 years. “From this point forward, major engagements will be run past Derek, if Derek sees a problem with the plan, then the plan does not happen… am I clear?”

“Grand Admiral, you can’t be serious” said Acting Sub Secretary Kren.

“I have never been more serious… mark my words, I have taken a solemn vow to assure Lord Shepard Empire is the greatest and longest lasting one on all of Argyle. I will take whatever measures I see necessary to see that vow upheld” there was a long silence in the council room as the ruling council began to understand the changes that were about to take place. “Now if I may turn our attention to the City of Red Wall. I want a team of board-certified architects and surveyors to examine the castle first and then the city at large and inform me of any secret passages and abandoned tunnels that we might not know about…”

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Stirings Pt 5

Sunsday the 7th of Ready’reat 381 ONT, 2:12pm Macey’s Buns & Bakery, 3rd spoke – 6th circuit, Don-Ton

Cassidy Stout hurried up the stair of the bakery into the resistances safe house. He heart lit up when she say Gavroche, sitting there eating bread and olive oil. She stopped a moment to smooth her frizzy red hair and wipe her hands on her dirty dress. Before approaching the Gnome.

“Hello Gavorche…” she said as she approached. He looked up and gave her a half smile

“Hi Cassidy, what news from the docks?” the gnome said to the Halfling girl, as always getting straight to business. She was sad a moment, the gnome lived only for the resistance and had no time to be friendly with her, no matter how much her heart might yearn for him.

“All is well, the union has quietly agreed and is stowing supplied to barricade the streets and keep anyone from getting to the ships. They have even identified a couple galleys they may be able to take, that would give us cannon support. Now they merely wait for a sign” Gavoroche smiled at her and patted her on the shoulder causing her heart to beat a thousand times per minute

“That is great news Cas! Covafac will be glad to hear it… well done” she smiled at him happy that she had made him happy; it was then though that the gnome continued. “Cas… we’re friends… right?” he asked tentatively

“Of course” she said a little to eagerly

“I wanted to ask a favour… but as a friend… if it is too much then please just say so…” he said, seeming unsure of the ground he was on

“Anything Gavroche, name it and I would be happy to do it” she said smilying ear to ear. Her smile was infectious and soon he was grnning with her.

“Thanks Cas, this really means a lot to me…” he reached into his coat and pulled out a letter “you see Cas… I meant this girl, and she is the most beautiful women I have ever seen and she’s perfect and we’re in love and…” he kept talking but Cassidy could not hear her, the resounding sound of her heart breaking was all that hit her ears. She held the same grin plastered to her face as Gavroche told her about how perfect this other women was and how her dreams were never going to be. She shook her head realising he had stopped talking…

“Ya?” she offered hoping to cover for not listening… the gnomes smile grew even bigger

“Excellent, thanks again Cas… now just take this not to the inner circuit, I have the address marked and make sure Fantine gets it… she needs to know how I truly feel” with a robotically dead arm the little Halfling to the note from the gnome, she bobbed her head and auto pilot gave her the appropriate words to say as she left the bakery in a daze. Her feet began to take her to the inner circuits as tears welled in her eyes. She was delivering her own death certificate; for what was life without Gavroche

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Little Dreams

Selwynsday the 6th of Ready’reat 381 ONT, 1:56pm, Seedus Farm, Just outside the City of Red Wall

Please Listen While Reading

Joseph Palmer, wiped the sweat from his brow as he looked out across the field. He watched in envy as the Wyzals in neat lines exited the city of Red Wall and began to march off. Spears held on their shoulders, chins held high, they were the protectors of the realm.

“Joseph… quit your day dreaming and keep puling those seeds, Lord Shepard will need our harvest to feed the army this winter” he looked over at his uncle who had called to him, he could see his cousins working a little further down. They all had dark brown fur and flat faces, they wore straw hats to shade their eyes from the hot fall sun.

“Uncle Walter, Why won’t you allow me to enlist? I wasn’t meant to be a farmer” Joseph said as he carried his hoe walking towards Uncle Walter in exasperation. The old farmer looked up to the sky hoping that the great mouskawits was looking down on him and understanding the trails he must endure.

“I have told you many times Joseph, we are not Wyzels, we are Volus, Volus do not kill”

“But I don’t feel like a Volus Uncle Walter… I feel like I can do more than digging; that I was meant for better things…”

“If you dug more, perhaps you would have a better sense of satisfaction,” Uncle Walter said with a chiding tone “… Joseph, when your parents left you here with me it was so that I would keep you safe, Lord Shepard’s Imperial Army is no place for the likes of us. Look down at the marching line, do you see any Vole’s any non Wyzels?”

“You could let me try… at least then we would know…”

“And who would help me with the rest of the fall harvest? I will never find another hand at this time of year… and you speak of greatness, we feed the populace of Red Wall… is that not great work… is that not a noble endeavor”

“Uncle Walter… that’s not what I meant… I Just…”

“That is exactly what you meant, you think it glamourous to hunt down a Hare or a Squirlus and run them through with a steel blade… that it will all be glory… your father thought that way… and where is he now? Get those fool ideas out of your head boy, now we’ve talked of this too long, we have a harvest to collect, and it’s not going to collect itself” with that Uncle Walter turned and deliberately pulled some seeds from the ground putting them in his sack. Joseph sigh and went back to his section, casting his gaze back to the remnants of the Imperial Army marching along the road to put down the evil rebels of the Fur and Foot Nation, or the Evil Clava. One day, he promised himself… one day he would fight on the side of right, and protect the innocent.

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Lose by a Hair Pt 2

Selwynsday the 6th of Ready’reat 381 ONT, 1:31pm, Rummage Glen, 23 miles north of Rosemellow Ridge, Country of Eiradun.

Titus Thorntree ran as fast as he could, he was almost clear of Rummage Glen, he knew he could likely slow down once he had the cover of the forest ahead. As he approached the exit of the valley where the cliffs and stream narrowed he began to slow, seeing what lay in wait for him. The tall poplar tree has three avian’s sitting in it watching him. But what he saw that truly worried him were the six or so Geomydes each armed with short swords and thick wooden shields and in the centre a large Erethizon. Standing a little back seemed to be a large Wyzel, probably of the Minkus family, he held a long sword in easy grip and had a lazy grin that denoted hunger. Titus came to a stop… he had thrown is main spear and lost one of his throwing spears leaving him one more throwing spear as well as his large hunting knife.

“Allo Mates… nice day for a jog ain’t it” Titus ventured to the group as his eyes and ears swiveled debating the best way to escape.

“So it appears to be” the Minkus said in a horse whispery voice. The creature strode forward a little, still maintaining a respectful distance from the Erethizon and his dangerous quills.

“Shade crowded fer my liking, haven’t seen Rummage Glen this busy in quiet awhile” Titus offered. The Minkus just shrugged. The Geomydes began to spread out in a semi-circle to surround the hare. “I ought warn you blokes, I’m Private Titus Thorntree of the 47th Hare Boarder Rangers, A contingent of the Fur and Foot Nation, I’ll be missed”

“I doubt it” the Minkus replied, at his signal two of the Avian Hawks took flight and began to circle on high. Titus drew out his spear, his foot nervously thumped. As he took a defensive crouch and waited for the attack to come. The Geomydes began beating their swords on their shields urging the dim witted Erathizon forward. The quilled creature thrashed its head back and forward and finally flicked out its tail, launching a series of six quills at Titus. He was ready for it, he sprung high into the air and back a couple feet, allowing the seven inch quills to stick into the ground where he’d stood. The Geoydes keep their banging as the Erathizon snorted in annoyance for having missed, it shambled forward ahead of the Minkus preparing to try again. “this will go faster, if you hold still” the Minkus offered in his whispered tone.

“If it’s all the same to you mate… I’d just as soon give it a whirl” Titus offered back keeping an careful eye on the avians above

“Suit yourself…” The Minkus said, he was preparing to say something else when Titus launched his last spear, not at the Minkus, nor the Erathizon or Geomydes, he threw it up into the sky… the Geomydes looked up following the spear at it collided with one of the Avians, who promptly screeched and began to fall from the sky. Titus whipped his knife from it’s sheath at the Minkus scowled at him “You threw away your spear, you fool, you think that knife will save you?”

CRASH

The Avian crashed into the ground infront of the Erathizon, causing the creature to rear up in shock. Titus didn’t wait, he ran forward leaping onto the bird and using it as a springboard to jump over the Earthizon. As he flew through the air he flung his knife at the Minkus. The Creature was quick through and brought his arm up to deflect the shot from his face. Titus hit the ground and was off like a shot, running with all the speed of his ancestors.

“AFTER HIM” the Minkus shouted. Titus did not look to know the Geomydes and the Avians were hot on his heels. He ran as fast as he could and offered a prayer to Tu’er-Shen, the lord of Hares, to grant him the speed to make the tree line.

SCREEEEEEECHHHHHH

He heard the cry that all too often had signaled the end of one of his kin. Without looking he sacrificed speed and suddenly rolled hard to the left before regaining his feet and running again, form the corner of his eye he saw talons pull grass and brush he’d been running through from the ground. He leapt again… he knew in the woods he would have no problem outrunning the Geomydes, and he doubted the Erathizon had even moved, he’d never seen one run. It was the Minkus and the Avians that were his worries; if he made the thicker wood he’d loose the avians, then he would just be alone, unarmed and exhausted against a Minkus… and that was at best…. Things were not looking good for him.

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The Lioness and the Hulk

Sonsday the 7th of Ready’reat 381 ONT, 9:41am, Altinho Wood, 6 miles north north east of the village of Marscreet, Northern Argyle, Country of Chistles Point.

The Lioness sat down on a rock bluff and looked up Elesyum. Alana looked back behind the Titan, a swath of destruction raged for about twelve miles through Altinho wood, ancient trees and hilly bluffs were smashed to nothing. Both were battered and injured, both were quickly healing. Taking a deep breath she mentally augmented her voice to be heard by the Titan

“This is the end of the line Elesyum. Not that I don’t mind a tussle in the wild, we are now too close to Marscreet, there are innocent people there, and I won’t allow this go any farther.” There was a note a finality in her voice. Few on Argyle could speak to the grace and divinity of a Titan with that kind of confidence.

“YOU WON’T ALLOW THIS?” the Titan boomed “THAT IS THE PROBLEM, YOUR LITTLE RACE PERSUMES MUCH WHEN IT THINKS IT CAN DECIDE TO ALLOW ME, OR ANY TITAN TO DO ANYTHING! WE WERE ANCIENT WHILE THE GODS DEBATED YOUR PATHATIC RACE, AND NOW YOU AND YOUR ILK NEED TO BE CULLED LIKE AN OVERGROWN TREE, NEED TO BE TAUGHT RESPECT AND YOUR PLACE” the Titan was working herself into a rage again. Alana sighed as she stood and readied her sword, she had had enough of this.

“Times have changed, I have killed your brethren, and though it would pain me to kill one of the last Titans, don’t think I won’t. Please, turn back and return to your lands in the north, if you come any further I won’t hold back”

“HOLD BACK!” the Titan screamed in rage, her voice knocking over ancient trees. With one hand she pulled an ancient redwood from the ground and brought it down with the force of 100,000 horses on the sitting Alana.

Vimmmmmmmm

The noise of the ancient sword took over, and Alana allowed it to take control. The blade spun her and twirled, cutting a hole into the tree in the split second it fell. Once again the Lioness stood unharmed by the Titan’s attack.

“Go Home Elesyum” Alana said, anger in her voice

“The Titan once again picked up her mighty Hammer and began her assault anew. Alana hefted her blade and dashed towards the Titan’s feet. Marscreet had over six hundred people who lived there, she would not allow this battle to extend any further.

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Lose by a Hair Pt 1

Selwynsday the 6th of Ready’reat 381 ONT, 1:23pm, Rummage Glen, 23 miles north of Rosemellow Ridge, Country of Eiradun.

Captain Basil Stag-Hare led his patrol, a detachment from the 47th Boarder Rangers, across Rummage Glen. The grass was wispy and yellow, having been mostly killed off in the frost, it provided very little cover. Thankfully his patrol was made entirely of hares. He had eight in his patrol. Sargent Lionel Davipaw, Corporal Archibald Cleartail and Privates Crispin Snowfur, Dennis Ryealck, Elijah Brytail, Sebastian Owo and Titus Thorntree. His men were armed with light spears but they were stowed for a run, Rummage Glen was a deep long valley that stood between the high cliffs of Gengie and the south Balsam creek. If he didn’t want to make a three day detour he had to take it. Pacing themselves at a steady jog, the hares should be able to clear it in about an hour, longer then he’d like to be exposed but in this case… hopefully… worth the risk. Basil tried to keep his wits about him as he ran but often found his thoughts straying back to his last mission. Three Zemaya, on the door step of the fur and foot nation, in a border season. The world certainly wasn’t what it used to be. In his youth he’d of flogged a man who brought him such stories… now the impossible seemed standard. He stopped and froze every bone in his body. The unit was spread to keep from spell attacks but they stopped as one, Archi had one of the keenest noses in the entire nation, if he smelt trouble it was worth paying attention to. Cautiously Basil allowed a single ear to rise and slowly turn to see if he could catch a stray sound. Northing. After a full minute. Lionel slowly crept up to the point position to see what was up.

“wha’s troubling ya, mate” Lionel whispered trying to sound confident as he did so.

“eighteen licks up ahead, crouched in the raspberry scrub… I smell Preators… Lupin’d be my guess, but could be wolf, hard to tell on a whiff Sarg” Lionel looked the corporal up and down

“how many?” he asked

“At least three Sarg, hard to tell now, winds shifting, and the bush is hiding some of the scent” the Sargent nodded to him and slowly crawled back to his Captain

“Doesn’t look good Captain” Lionel said as he repeated what Archi had told him. Basil took a long moment to think about it before responding.

“We’re more than halfway through the ridge… if we bolt they’ll overtake us on flat open ground, Let’s hope for wolves and not Lupin”

“Mighty big gamble considering the cargo, Cap” Lionel offered, the Captain took the warning to heart.

“Who is our best swimmer, and who is our fastest runner?” Basil asked… the Sargent took a long moment to think

“Elijah by far would be our best swimmer, boys damn near half lutrae, as fer runners, that’s be a toss up between Crispin and Titus, Sir”

“Titus is damn good with the spear to… I want him here with me… spread the word, here’s what I want done…”

Within a few minutes the patrol was on the move. Six of them spreading out in attack formation towards the Rasberry brush, Crispin turning and hightailing it back out of the valley and Elijah b lining for the creek ready to make a swim. The preators broke from the brush and charged at the oncoming patrol

“Remember Mates, Not one of these flea bag bastards passes us till our boy Elijah is clear ‘cross that creek… you be getting me?”

“Aye Sir!” his men said picking up speed and tightening the grip on their spears. The Wolves, for that could be seen now, were about thirty feet away now, both sides ever picking up speed. The Hares to their credit didn’t falter as Lionel called their battle cry

“UGIE UGIE UGIE!”

“OI! OI! OI!” the men called back taking a final step and leaping to meet their mortal enemies in battle.

Basil flung himself in the air, he felt the jaws of the wolf just miss if foot as he shot out a might kick, spinning and stabbing at the fur lined creature with his spear. He drew blood, but the blow was glancing and would not fell the creature. As he hit the ground he rolled catching a sorrowful glimpse of Dennis, and hearing a thundering CRACK as the wolf that had grabbed him shook him violently snapping the poor private’s neck. That creature paid the price however, Titus came up under the creatures belly and leapt into the snarling beasts thin furred stomach driving home his spear, the yowl the creature let out echoed throughout the glen. Basil had not time to watch anymore, the wolf he battled brought its paw to bear, and years of steady training only allowed him to deflect the crushing blow with his spear. “Keep moving Basil” he cursed to himself “a still Hare is a dead Hare” he said repeating the old drilling line that had been taught to generations of warriors. He picked up speed leading the wold away from the group, not enough to outpace it but just enough to trigger its chasing instincts… then when he felt the moment was right, he stopped hard, rolled towards the beast and set his spear. As predicted the beast overshot with its gnashing jaw snap, his spear found its throat at full speed, and though he took the full force of the wolf crashing into him, he hobbled away… the wolf was dead. He limped back to his men who together had just brought down the third wolf. Taking stock it nearly broke Basil’s heart. Lionel, his loyal Sargent of four seasons lay dead. He sniffed, surprising his grief for another time and turned his attention to his men.

“Well done gents, well done… it’s not every patrol who can take on three Wolves and live to speak again of it…” he was interrupted by a slow clap they turned and walking from behind the Raspberry scrub camp a single Waylen in dark armor, clapping a sarcastic slow clap.

“Well done indeed noble hares, well done indeed” the raspy vile voice of the Waylen carried on the breeze to the assembled hares. Basil had never met Lord Shepard, but he knew enough to recognize him, and had seen what Meagre, a self-proclaimed unskilled and untrained Guard Mouse could do, he could only imagine what a Master Guard Mouse was capable of, if this was going to happen it had to be on their terms.

“UGI UGI UGI!” he cried flinging himself into the air without warning, his boys were already moving as they echoed the call

“OI OI OI!” Basil knew his leap was true, and his aim fine with his spear, he would come from above and split the mouse in twine. It was then just before connecting he felt his momentum slow, and then stop just out of reach, he then felt himself be flung backwards, at a glance he saw the same was true with Titus who’d matched his jump. Sebastians charge still held true however, until they heard the familiar hum of the waylen blade. There was a red flash and Sebastion’s head left his shoulders as the Mouse danced out of his way. Archibald had been hot on his heels but found himself tripping of his friend’s corpse. The Hare jabbed out with his spear attempting a glancing blow but the blade ripped down slicing the top of his weapon, and jutting back in time to deflect another Spear that Titus had thrown. Archibald leapt back and drew his knife, joining beside Basil and Titus, facing off against the menacing Mouse.

Basil looked at his last two men, both armed with skinny knives, his opponent was uninjured and not even winded; in fact, Basil was sure that the disgusting noise he was hearing was laughter. He did what any responsible leader would do

“Run boys, run hard and fast” he whispered. Titus looked at him as if ready to offer protest, Basil cut him off “that’s an order” Archi split left and Titus right As Basil charged. Archi made it maybe ten steps before he felt a death grip around his neck lift him from the ground. Basil had suspected this and levied his spear in the charge. As he was about to connect he saw the waylen blade come buzzing towards his spear, he dropped the weapon and jumped, kicking down as he leapt over the mouse, knocking him forward as he struck a blow on the back of the head. It must have caused the mouse a moment of confusion for Archi hit the ground and took off anew. Basil gave himself a grim smile for his success, as he saw Titus making good ground and it seemed Archi would risk the creek and swim for it. His gaze turned toward the mouse who now stood and faced him. Basil pulled his skinny dagger from his belt

“You will suffer for that Hare, no one had touched me in over ten years”

“Perhaps all yer needing is a good walloping to set yerself straight, I’d be obliged to offer ya one”

“You’ll learn to hold your tongue, Hare, I will see your entire people eliminated for your brash…”

“Oh lick me salty piss and get on with it, will ya” Basil said, sending the mouse into a rage. The smaller creature charged with basil leaping back and bringing his knife to bare, the battle in all honesty had begun.

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Tobars Journal Pt 3

Selwynsday the 6th of Ready’reat 381 ONT, 6:23am, Low Market, Bazaar District, Eiradun

I had been given a few days to figure out how I wanted to make this happen, good! I needed the walk anyway. Needed to put the cowl back on, bring out my true self once more. The sun was coming up, damn… I hate the dawn, it always feels like someone left the grass out on the lawn overnight. Things had been quiet in the Bazarr… between the Deacon trying to keep things quiet and the shake up in the Rouges House, there was very little for a do gooder who wanted to violently work out some emotional issues to do. It was just after 6 when I heard the cry. Not four blocks from my old house.

“My baby, someone has stolen my baby” the neighborhood was waking up to hear the cries of a mother in pain. I was on it. She had seen her child at two in the morning when she’d woken with nightmares… poor women, she’d sent the kid back to bed without looking, maybe the monsters under the bed were real. I happen to know a lot about monsters, especially the local sort. And beating some intel out of a source was right up my ally. Randy the Snitch… I gave him the name, told me about a new fellow just in from the Fire Nation. Lestor Macavoy, a weasel if a fellow who cleans up jobs for coin. He also seems to have a fondness for hanging around at public parks and watching kids play. I got mad and broke Randy’s nose, who sits on that kind of information when there are kids at stake. His house was on the edge of the Bazaar, just over the wall into South Gate. A neat little cottage standing cozy with a picketed little fence and pink shutters. Why is it that filth and refuse can so easily set the ideals that decency so wants? The buildings were small here so I had to come from ground level, I crept over the fence and into the house… seems like our friend was out, fine, gives me a chance to find the baby and get her home. I entered the house and my stomach almost emptied, he must have had at least a dozen cats, the stink of the creatures was too much, the windows were painted shut and the airflow was almost none. I searched the house high and low, looking for the child, nowhere… maybe my source was wrong? Maybe he was out with the child still, do I wait in ambush or move on? That’s when I noticed, the cats seemed to stay in the living room, licking at their bowls. I steeled myself to take a look, and found what I hoped I wouldn’t… the cats licking a skull in their bowl.


Selwynsday the 6th of Ready’reat 381 ONT, 9:52am, Ranny Lane, South Gate District

Lester Macavoy returned from his regular church ritual. He approached his well-oiled gate and quickly entered his home. He did not like to be away from his kitties for any length of time, but it was important to maintain appearances.

“Lucy, Chole, Shadow… Daddies home” he called as he entered his home, breathing in the rich and earthy aroma of his little fur babies. He took another two steps before stopping… it was quiet… where was the ever pleasant mewing of Jasper or Luna? Where was the welcome call of Misty or Patches? They should be excited to see him, for he had just given them their favorite treat last night. He took a step into his living room and screamed at what he saw… four of his little kittens head lined neatly on the mantle “Peanut….” He cried in disbelief as he staggered forward… he could not take the sight of it, but as he turned he found his shelves, and the back of his chesterfield lined with the heads of his remaining cats. “Why… oh by the gods… why…” the man wailed. Out of the corner of the room from the shadow stepped a burly masked dwarf.

“You killed that baby, you fucking animal…” the dwarf growled in a hoarse voice. The man seeing the position he was in too a deep sniveling breath to calm his trembling lip and then spoke.

“You have caught me then, call the Dentoni” he voice has steadied as he looked to the dwarf, a look of confidence held in his eyes, there would not be enough evidence here to convict him of anything, the dwarf on the other hand would surely be lashed, if not worse for the murder of his precious pets. The dwarf punched him in the stomach and Lester doubled over in pain.

“People go to jail…” the dwarf growled “… animals get put down”

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Tobars Journal Pt 2

Selwynsday the 6th of Ready’reat 381 ONT, 12:15am, Freemen Lodge, off Marshal Street, Southgate District, Eiradun

I stood in firelight, sweltering with a bloodstain on my chest like map of violent new continent. I felt cleansed. I felt this dark planet turn under my feet and knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in the night. I have come to the Freemen Lodge, and have been inducted into the Society. I was asked how much pain I would endure for the Society and quickly found myself branded with a hot iron on my chest. The foolish think the fire can burn a husk. The Deacon had a few good words for us about bettering life for man, he worked hard to keep the main crowd impressed, before we split into the member’s only room. You see, the ontological fallacy of expecting a light at the end of the tunnel, well, that’s just what the Deacon sells, same as priests, clerics, the Dentoni or anyone else who wants money and power. See the Deacon he encourages your capacity for illusion. Then he tells you it’s a gods be damned virtue. Always a coin to be had doing that, and it’s such a desperate sense of entitlement isn’t it? Surely this is all for me. Me! Me me me. I I I’m so gods be damned important. I’m so important… right?” bullshit! All of it, and yet, deep down it seems to be what everyone wants to hear. The weak and dull minded believe his cause to be true. I have learned better, but keep my mouth shut till we make the members only lodge. Then we find out the heart of the matter, “sacrifices must be made for all causes” “who is willing to fight to protect the freedoms of those most in need” his propaganda lacks creativity and poetry, likely why he appeals to the bottom base audience of drifters, thieves, drug addicts and near dead. I listen to his words as the business of the night bubbles to the top of this wretched cauldron of propaganda and villainy.

Seems that the Freemen have a benefactor, and once again I watch as words are beaten and twisted, whipped and forced to take a shape of a cruel artist to do his bidding and will. A gnome named Altho, a bad gnome who committed many crimes, he was going to make things worse, and the Dentoni were going to let him go to do it… he needed to be put in the ground to protect the Freemen… to protect the city… heck event to protect the Dentoni, not that they needed or deserved it. Who would go… who indeed? My hand shot up like an arrow from a bow string, I wouldn’t last long chatting with these fiends, I needed credibility fast, and it looked like blood was the cost of it. The Deacon looked and was impressed, checked to assure I wanted to do this… I was sure. He picked two more experienced lads to work with me, to check and see that the job got done right. Teddy Baldwin, a shrewish looking man, with thick log like arms and squinty distrustful eyes. He’d been a freemen for a long time and stunk like the refuse that he associated with. Mike Scanlan was the other man assigned to the job, a skinny human, who had joined a little over a year ago. He knew what this job was about, and looked like he relished the feast of blood ahead. Such vile and darkness to either side of me, it would take a lot not to end these two pychos and move on… but I needed to go deeper… had to swim across the lake of refuse and moral obscurity to find the vile creatures who had stolen my love and my life… then the cleansing would come to pass.

When the meeting had been finished I walked out to get some air from the night sky. Looked up at the sky through smoke heavy with human fat and guilt, guess what… the god were not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. That is the only thing that makes sense now… no destiny, no purpose. We live our lives, lacking anything better to do and devise reasons later. Born from oblivion; bear children, go into oblivion. There is nothing else. Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. There is no meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not the gods who kill the children. Not fate that chokes them or destiny that burns them alive. It’s us. Only us. The streets stink of fire. The void breathes hard on my heart, turning its illusions to ice and shattering them. I am a ghost now, a shadow of my former self, but I am free, free to scrawl my own design on this morally blank world and find vengeance for the sins of man.

Altho… Gnomish Druid… hated by the freemen… being charged by the Dentoni… none of those things mattered, the only judgement that would matter now to Altho… was mine.

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Tobars Journal

Yoloday the 5th of Ready’reat 381 ONT, 8:45pm, Shrine of the Unkempt, soup and warming house, Bazaar District, Eiradun.

Another dead man in the street tonight. Cart wheel marked on his stomach. This city doesn’t know to fear me yet. The streets of the bazaar are extended gutters, gutters filled with blood and barley scabbed over. When I find them I will rip open the scab and drown the vermin. It has been 15 days since my loved ones were buried and their souls sent on their way. I have not sat idle. I had been investigating a cult that has been appealing to the homeless of the Bazaar district when I was so targeted. I feel that is the best place to find and avenge the killers. The district is infested with disgusting drug dealers and human traffickers, and the upper class turns a blind eye to it all. They had a choice, they could have followed in the footsteps of brave and good men, but instead they looked north to the Don-Ton aristocracy and built their own about it. They don’t realise that the trail they have chosen has led over a precipice and now it’s too late. Don’t you dare tell me that they didn’t have a choice! Now the whole world stands on the brink, staring down into a bloody void of nothing and all the Quims’ Liberals and intellectuals and fancy talkers…. Well all of the sudden they can’t think of anything to say… don’t worry your precious heads, it’s now a time for action and I intend to take it, I will find those vile murders and gods help anyone foolish enough to stand in-between and preach the innocence of ignorance to me. I am homeless now, and being homeless it has not been difficult for me to fit in. I met with a fellow known as Chester Wilcox. A tall stringing human who has been down on his luck for some years, and battling a healing potion addiction. Apparently he used to be some bigwig warrior… I don’t see it. He is weak in the mind, and if his body was once an asset, his addiction and a hard life on the streets has taken that from him now. Chester led me to the Shrine of the Unkempt. Not really a shrine as those things need to be registered and be linked to a particular god, cause female liberal wannabe leaders need bureaucracy to keep people down. According to Deacon McGinty (the fellow running the place) this is a location where good men can help other men without the constraints of religion, I might buy it if I didn’t feel the Deacon was a smarmy snake oil salesmen taking advantage, he is just another kind of scum, awaiting his turn to raise to the top.

On the surface things seem normal enough, the Deacon and his followers known as “the freemen” give the boys soup, blankets, unguents and oils as needed and speak of better times to come. They lap up his words as their bread soaks up the soup. The cold has dulled their brains and words can’t hurt you… right? Those who have been coming for a while have become loyal, very loyal. And often pledge to become a “freeman” themselves. That is where things get interesting. Freemen have finer clothes and hostels to sleep in, and work for the betterment of man. Again these are all nice things to say, but experience has taught me one crucial thing… where is the money coming from. I held out my bowl and ate the soup, a thick rich pork stew, with crusty bread to go with it… most soup kitchens have soup that is razor thin, with day old stale bread… not due to malice but because they are trying to make it last… who is paying for the soup?

Chester had filled his bowl and brought me around to the warming hut. A shitty little shack with a few braziers for warmth… I noted the braziers were not barrels and they were stocked with coal bricketts. We sat and ate and listened as the Deacon spoke. Nice bit about Chester is I think he is actually retarded… that means I don’t have to make small talk with him. The Deacon’s words were the things everyone wanted to hear. “It’s not your fault”, “the rich have done this to you”, “your time will come”. A few times I thought that these would be dangerous words for a Dentoni to hear, but who was I kidding, after dark in the Bazaar, there was no Dentoni about, they were likely sitting in their ivory tower sipping mulled wine and feasting on the delusions of their social superiority. After a long speech The Deacon and his fellows circulated through the crowd speaking with those around them. As I said I had been coming a few nights now and trying to build myself a reputation as an eager fellow, not easy to smile at a snake… but I didn’t want the Deacon, I wanted them all, and that meant playing the game for a while.. Tonight seemed to be my lucky night.

“John Douglas, right?” the Deacon asked of me… that is the name I had been going by

“Aye, that’d be me… fine words this eve Deacon” I had responded, the Deacon bowed his head with a smile. Quickly he and Chester and I got to talking about our futures. I had thought it best to let Chester talk more as he meant what he was saying, and the retard was the kinda chump that the Deacon was likely looking for, I echoed the fellows words where applicable and hoped that’d be enough. It seemed I was right as the Deacon said that he had two new openings into “the Freemen” and if we were inclined he would let us pledge, I had already made myself a pledge, to see this through, everything after that was child’s play. You’d think Chester’d found a bag of golden spirals the way he thanked the Deacon shaking his hand. I did my best to nod by gratitude and we were given the details to come to the lodge hall in South Gate near Marshal Street at the midnight hour. Here we could pledge and know what it meant to be a loyal Freemen. After the Deacon moved on I did my best to suppress a predators grin.

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