Liberty

Bang pt 1

Yoloday the 12th of Ready’reat 381 ONT. Thringal Pier, Warf District, Eiradun.

Emrys and Zakaram walked the pier once more. This is where the Dwarven ship had landed for repairs and Zakaram was sure there was an odd psychic echo in the area. The mystery of the hidden room, the kidnapped Dentoni, how that related to the Men’s revolution, or who those ninja’s were was still cloudy. Zakaram placed his hand on the iron eye ring and focused trying to feel the ship, to see what had been obscured. Emrys watched in mild fascination. As he pulled his coat tighter. It was cold, even for Ready’reat with a light snow coming off the lake, this would be a colder than normal winter he predicted. He readjusted his coat again noting that his shoulder slumped and it began to sag, that was quickly becoming annoying. He noted two men turn and begin walking up the pier to them. The fellow on the left was tall, maybe 6’1 he had a large shaggy beard and a wide brimmed hat pulled low, the collar of his brown coat was turned up against the weather. His companion could have been a twin for the way he was dressed but held a distinctly dwarven look to him. Emrys tapped Zakarum with his foot to alert him of their company. His companion looked up and stood dusting off the knee to his pants.

“Good day gentlemen” Zakarum offered as the two men approached. The tall one stepped forward offering a hand to shake, his voice was thick and guttural

“hello” he said, but as he took Zakarums hand he grabbed the human with his other hand and shoved him violently off the side of the pier, surprised and off balance, Zakarum went over.

“WHAT IN THE…” Emrys cried as he took a step away from the side of the pier and began to reach for a spell, he hadn’t the time as the dwarf threw open his coat, drawing twin pistols in the same action. Time seemed to slow as Emrys noted the beauty of the green and gold inlaid barrels of the pistols as the dwarf shot both rounds point blank into Emrys chest. The force of the impact knocked him from his feet as he fell to his back. The druid moved to get up from his prone position but once again felt the air rush from his lungs as the assailant who’d thrown his companion over the edge turned on him, he to drew forth twin pistols, not nearly as nice as the dwarves and again Emrys felt the air rush from his lungs as they were fired into his chest.

“Komm Lass Uns Gehen!”he heard the dwarf cry, and though he didn’t speak the language he was pretty sure that was dwarven. Emrys wheezed in pain as the man turned with the dwarf and both turned and ran. He wondered why they had chosen to flee instead of shooting again, but then noted Zakaraum clambering up the ladder further up the pier. In moments his friend was by his side

“Emrys, are you ok?” he knelt looking for the blood, he found none, pulling back Emrys coat he found the shiny surface of blue dragon scale armor. With four neat dents clustered near his heart. The impacts had winded him, but had been a far cry from killing him. The two looked at one another knowing a new mystery had just begun.

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Will be Toruble Pt 2

Matronsday the 7th of Ready’reat 381 ONT, 8:12pm, Rum Gully, Riverflat District, Eiradun

William wiped the mud from his face and regained his feet bringing himself to a run. This is not how his day was supposed to go. He had urged Marion to keep after the crystal thieves to assure their mission was completed and to sort out any tenuous legal ground. Count Delacroix had been only too willing to allow that to happen as well. William had offered him a chance to walk away but the fellow had none of it, and then the battle had broken out. The half orc recalled having leapt back a few feet and raising his bow to fire, but the short bounty hunter had expected the move, he tossed some orange goo at him, it landed on and covered the front of his bow, hardening quickly and clogging the firing capabilities. William stored that information away for the future, it had been all too easy for the Count to negate his abilities. For a moment the two had just stared at each other, the Count shrugging his shield off his shoulder and into place while he drew his battle axe. William did the only thing he could think of, he jumped off the building and ran.

The Riverflat district was a middle class neighborhood, built with many residential homes, and minor shops and services to support them. William crisscrossed through allies and tight streets, a quick glance over his shoulder showed that Delacroix had no troubles keeping pace. William looked around for a place he could hide, most shops were closed and he wasn’t about to break into someone’s home. He rounded a corner knowing that at this rate the bounty hunter would have him within two blocks. He cast his gaze about furtively and their down on the next corner he saw a hope, a library. It was a small one, only three stories, likely just for the locals here, but it would be open and have numerous hiding spots; or if worse came to worse cramped corners that would negate the Counts battle axe. With new vigor her raced down the street and took the steps to the library three at a time. With all his might he threw himself at the door

Thunk

It was locked

Near desperate he pounded on the door… then pounded again, looking back and seeing the bounty hunter quickly approaching, he rapped a third time, and as he did the door opened. William didn’t wait, he threw himself through the door stumbling past the tall skinny man who had stood in the door way. at this time the Count slowed walking up the last few steps and calling out to him.

“There is nowhere to go William. You put up a good run, I will attest to it, your reputation will not be sullied by giving up now” William panted and looked to the man in the doorway who wore a stunned expression on his face.

“Please help me” William implored breathing heavily and trying to slow his heart. The man looked from William back to the Count before speaking up

“What seems to be the problem here?” his voice was young and strong. The Count stepped forward fumbling with a scroll tube.

“My name is Joshua, Count Delacroix, Earl of Croy, Marquess of Ishlathal and Grant Island, Baronet of Theming, I am the descendent of the third daughter of Lord Pepsica the 4th, Lady Alice and proud citizen of Don-Ton…” he said producing a sheaf of papers “That man is William Brutus, a fugitive whom I am trying to bring to justice…”

“To Omars, with false charges… their trying to silence me, because I did what was right!” William said with power and vehmanence. The Count nodded to William

“Very possibly, but I am not a Justice nor a Lawyer, I suspect you will have an opportunity to plead your case when delivered…”

“What case, they will kill me… it’s not like they will be fair about it” the man in the doorway nodded hearing both sides. The Count shrugged to Williams protests and began walking forward once more, but the man in the doorway placed his person firmly baring the way. the Count stopped looking annoyed

“Master… uh?”

“Tian’amen… Curative Tian’amen actually” the man offered, the Count bowed his head

“Curative Tian’amen, I have well stated my case and facts, if you choose to intercede I will be within my rights to use force to attain my bounty” Tian’amen nodded vigerously at this

“Yes of course, under the Giant-Slayer statue of 315ONT, a person or persons who have been deputised by the law may use a reasonable amount of force in order to bring a known or suspect criminal to justice within the standings of the martial statues” Tian’amen quoted. The Count took a half step back and smiled impressed. “I have been studying up on Eiradun law… one of the reasons why I am at this library”

“Very good lad, knowledge of the laws of the great cities is a very noble and rewarded pursuit” the Count said. William was aghast, he could not believe what was happening and was debating trying to sneak away while these two quickly became boosum buddies. Tian’amen continued his conversations

“I have learned a great many things, for instance, did you know that a persecuted individual can plead sanctuary on holy ground, and if accepted the bounty hunter has no licence to pursue on those ground”

“I did my friend; that slippery law has come up before; there are versions of it across the Dwarven Empire and even in Don-Ton” the Count replied, putting the head of his axe on the ground and resting easy on it. William looked around again, and for the first time noticed the holy symbol hanging around Tian’amen’s neck… he did not recognise it, but thought he would try whatever he could

“SANCTUARY!” Willaim cried, causing both Tian’amen and the Count to start. The Count shook his head almost morosely

“I am sorry dear William, but Sanctuary must be pleaded on holy ground, the Curative here cannot interfere”

“Well, funny thing…” Tian’amen said, causing both hunter and hunted to look at him “Did you know that in Eiradun, in memory of the Great Lord Prometheus and his pursuit of understanding that libraries when opened are blessed by a member of his church and dedicated in his name… oooo…” he said as he saw the Counts brow furrow “…I am guessing you did not… I am afraid that this might put a damper on our budding friendship, as I have read great amounts about the Omar Incorporation and would have to side with William here… William I accept your Sanctuary” by this time the Counts face was very red.

“Well Curative… You understand that this places us in opposition…” the Count began. Tian’amen nodded somewhat sadly “I consider myself duly informed of your Sanctuary, but will be lodging a protest with the guard to have it revoked… William, if you leave that Library I will be waiting” he said then placed his papers back in his scroll tube and turned walking back down the steps to the street. Tian-amen closed the door and turned to William.

“Welcome to Wolsey Library”

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Will be Toruble pt 1

Matronsday the 7th of Ready’reat 381 ONT, 8:02pm, Rum Gully, Riverflat District, Eiradun

“So you think this is where the thinker is keeping the crystal?” William asked as he and Marion crouched looking down on the small cottage from a nearby rooftop. They had been tracking leads ever since they caught the Thinker three days ago, he was not giving up where he had stashed the Falgon Crystal, which the historical society wanted back. Apparently when Raven Everlast and Lord Strahd teamed up to kill a Demon Prince, the prince had shot a killing beam at the Everlast. The Everlast instead of dodging had pulled a small clear crystal from his pocket and captured the beam, causing the crystal to grow to the size of a dactyls head and turn a pink hew. William doubted the story, he couldn’t imagine anyone having that kind of time in a combat. That didn’t matter however, what mattered was that the historical society believed it, and more importantly had promised to keep it safe while it was on loan from the elves of High Port. The Thinker had stolen it, and Marion and William were tasked with getting it back.

“If that little gnome, Rudy, was telling the truth than these four fellows are here to collect the crystal and then get a fishing boat on the docks to try and cross the Prometheus tonight and disappear into the wildlands.” Marion said. They both watched as the group of darkly clad humans approached the cottage and knocked at the door, in moments they had entered.

“Want to take them here?” he asked

“No, let’s let them leave and take them a block or so away, then we can come back and mop up here… we don’t know how many are in the cottage so why make things harder” she responded. William nodded at that and scooted back from the edge before standing up and stretching. He was turning to leave and nearly jumped for the start as right before him was a small person. The fellow was short, maybe 5’2 and thin, with braided gray hair and amber eyes, he wore a dark blue studded leather armor with no insignia on it; on his back was a well-worn battle axe with a black haft and hiked up on his shoulder was a dark blue steel shield. The fellow coughed a couple times awkwardly

“Pardon me sir… mam…” he said nodding towards Marion, who by now had gained her feet and approached in confusion. William cast a glance from the man to the cottage, assuring their quarry would not get away. “Please… allow me to introduce myself?” the fellow said reaching into his pocket and producing a scroll “I am Joshua, Count Delacroix, Earl of Croy, Marquess of Ishlathal and Grant Island, Baronet of Theming, I am the descendent of the third daughter of Lord Pepsica the 4th, Lady Alice and proud citizen of Don-Ton.” He finished it all with a small flourish and bow. William looked to Marion who looked back equally confused before she spoke

“Please to meet you Lord Delacroix… what brings you to… ah… um… a roof top in Riverflat?” she said looking around to further emphasise the odd meeting place.

“an excellent query if ever there was one Ms.?”

“Marion… Dentoni Marion of Eiradun” she said with a little more authority

“Of course, Dentoni;” he bowed once more “You see though my career has been long and prosperous occasionally I take up work for various businesses to further grow the family capital… currently I am in the noble pursuit of a vagabond and wish to bring him to justice” Marion nodded her understanding

“You’re a bounty hunter”

“well… I suppose that is one way of looking at it yes”

“Eiradun as very strict rules on bounty hunters Count Delacroix, it would be best if you…”

“presented myself to the Dentoni Tower and assured my licence was in order before undertaking any activities that could be seen as illegal… yes, I have done so already as well as visiting the city guard and registering not only my handy Felicia…” he patted the haft of his axe lovingly, “But also my noble companion Cona…” he pointed to a snow owl sitting on a nearby chimney, the owl bristled and nodded at them. As he spoke he produced the scroll he was holding to Marion, denoting his rank, lineage, and appropriate licences. She took them quizzically and gave them a quick glance, everything seemed to be in order, she passed them back to Joshua who stowed them into a scroll case on his belt.

“If you are here for the crystal, I must say you are too late, Dentoni do not back away from a criminal because a bounty hunter shows up, I am afraid you will have to move on” she said to him

“Of course Dentoni, I would never dream of interfering with your investigation, and though a bounty has been placed for the crystal, it has not yet been ratified by the Guard office, so I would not be able to cash it in anyway”

“Oh…” said Marion “Then if I may Lord Del…”

“Count, My Lady”

“Count Delacroix… Why are you here?”

“Of course… I am here to bring Master William Brutus into my custody. William Brutus…” he said the smile and jovialness leaving his features, his voice became hard and commanding “I have here a ratified bond requiring your arrest, on behalf of the Omar Incorporation. Currently the Bond requests that you are brought in Alive, but be warned by the laws of the land I am allowed to use force in defense of myself, and reasonable force to subdue you should you resist capture. Please surrender your weapons and magical items and allow me to bind your hands. Do this willingly and know you will be detained in comfort for the duration of our journey together and that I will testify to your cooperation before those who placed the bounty.” He looked long and hard at William who was slightly shocked, Marion wore a similar look on her face as she tried to figure out what her legal grounds were. William looked down at his loaded crossbow, but Joshua spoke up interrupting his thoughts “I know you are an accomplished warrior and archer, there will be a rather large urge to attempt to fight and flee, please know that this is not my first bounty, and I have taken precautions… now perhaps you are indeed better than I, but even if you succeed in killing me, you will have committed murder in front of a local law enforcement and that will be added to your crimes on your bounty when further members come searching for you, please… surrender quietly”

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DEADlines

Sonsday the 7th of Ready’reat 381 ONT, 4:22pm, Frigfall Wood, 12 miles South East of Hrock

Grand Druid Caius Degryll stepped through the boggy terrain and approached the loam heavy cave at the edge of the marshy wetlands. He took in the methane and rotting scents in the air and shuddered, this was not his terrain of choice, nor would he elect to spend more time here then need be.

ARRRRRRRP, an ancient willow near the cave mouth groaned and twisted as a tree-stride spell completed. Out came a balding man with grey whiskers and a heavy brow

“Arch Druid Fraxious, it is about time you arrived” the Grand Druid began being sure that his displeasure at being kept waiting was known.

“My apologies Grand Druid” the lesser druid said, bringing two fingers to his lips, then his forehead then offering them out in the traditional druid greeting. “My tardiness could not be helped” the Grand Druid took a long appraising look at Fraxious and gritted his teeth as her quickly returned the gesture.

“Come along then, let us get this over with” he said as he expressly strode toward the cave. The cavern was damp and filled with the heavy aroma of bog gas, fresh fungus and rotting meat, making an altogether unpleased bouquet that stuck to ones tongue. The turned a few times through the cave system, noting old scratch marks and burns on the cavern walls and floor and finally turned into the main chamber. It was large, some three hundred feet around with a tall ceiling reaching near fifty feet. The roof was pock marked with small holes that moss had grown over filling the room with eerie streams of green light. The back end of the room had a large putrid pool that no doubt led outside through the murky russet water of the swamps, not far from it, half submerged lay the large dead green dragon. An adult age if Caius’s guess was right. Tiny blade marks around the neck showed how the creature had died. Sprinkled around the room mounded towards the left hand wall were piles of treasure, mostly tarnished silver or moss incrusted gilded goblets and swords. In the centre of the room perched atop a half rotted gold inlaid podium sat Lord Shepard. The Waylen did not look up, as he appeared to concentrating to the objects below his roost. On the ground in a small pool or unknown liquid lay three large dragon eggs, two were clearly dashed and broken, the third was strong and looked near ready to hatch. Minding the small tarns of acid marked into the floor Caius made his way towards Lord Shepard, Fraxious a few feet behind him.

“Lord Shepard” Caius opened, but the small creature held up a single finger to stop him

“You have come to report failure Caius” the impossibly deep voice of the small Waylen pronounced, still his gaze never leaving the egg.

“That would be Grand Druid Caius, Lord Shepard, and yes, it appears that at this time the false druid Emrys still lives.”

“and you feel that this is an acceptable outcome Caius?” the Waylen enquired, his voice steady, it was impossible to predict where he was going with his line of questioning or if he was angry or perhaps accepting. Annoyance bubbled over in Caius

“As stated Lord Shepard, I am Grand Druid Caius Degryll, Master of the Suzuki Grove, Bearer of the Holly Crown and Master of the Scimitar of the Lasting Dawn. You will address me as Grand Druid, or Your Honour, failing that, you will hold your tongue!” he felt it was important to re-establish their relationship as formal and not of subordinance. The Waylen at long last removed his gaze from the egg and turned standing up on the lectern. He stood at near chest height of the two men. His helm obscured his face and his breathing was even. Caius sensed that perhaps he should move on and change the subject. “Now… Lord Shepard, Arch Druid Fraxious has been…” that was as far as he got as the Waylen reached out both his hands, from the left gauntleted hand shot forth a current of purple and blue lighting sizzling and frying the Grand Druid, unlike a spell where the lighting would hit you and end, this one was maintained and worked around his magical defenses. The Waylen held his right hand slowly closing it to make a fist in a crushing motion. Fraxious found himself lifted from the ground and choking as he watched the elder druid be continually stuck by lightening. The power was awesome to behold and terrifying when one considered who wielded it.

“I will call you whatever I damn well choose! You would be wise to humbly accept whatever name that is…. WONT YOU!” his voice boomed with the last two words sending an increased jolt of lightening and applying further pressure on Fraxious neck, the arch druids vision was beginning to blur.

“Yes… Yes…” The Grand Druid groveled falling to his knees

“Yes, what?” Shepard asked anger now apparent in his voice

“Yes… My Lord…” Caius gasped… and with that the lightening stopped and Fraxious dropped to the ground gasping for breath.

“The form you wear now appears to be too pretentious Caius, you have clearly forgotten your place… perhaps something that will remind you of where you stand.” The helmeted head turned its gaze towards Fraxious “You, you are an omnivore, correct?” the Arch Druid was disoriented but nodded his head “What is that meat that your races pines for, the one they insist on putting on everything?” both Caius and Fraxious looked confused but not wanting to anger the Waylen further Fraxious offered and answer

“Bacon? My Lord” he gasped, his voice hoarse from his windpipe nearly being crushed

“Yes… Bacon… Caius, from now on we will conduct our meetings with you in the form of a LITTLE…” with each final word he let a little bolt of lightning out “… PINK… PIG!” wincing in pain the Grand Druid tried to muster what minute dignity he had left

“Lord Shepard… if we could please AHHHHH!” Lightening zapped into him and continued to fry him until at last the Grand Druid relented and shape shifted into the form of a small pink pig. Once he had taken the form only then did Shepard stay his attack. The Waylen inhaled deeply his helmeted gaze locked on the little pig.

“You are right Fraxious, he does smell good enough to eat”

“Lord Shepard… Please…” Caius said, being a druid of his power he could still speak in animal form

“Behave Caius, at this juncture you are more useful to me alive then dead…. Barely” Shepard responded looking down from his podium at the small pig, and the man on his knees a little way past him. He studied the two but now seeing no further challenges he commenced the meeting proper “The Clava have an ancient belief that one known as the Bellator Libra will save their people from doom”

“And you think Emrys is this person?” Fraxious asked, a tinge of electricity danced on Shepard’s finger tips in a not to subtle reminder not to interrupt, but the Waylen chose to answer the question

“The Clava are idiots, a foolish barbarous mistake that evolution has yet to correct, there is no Bellator Libra, or what they call Warrior of Balance. There is however “a courageous one who will balance the scales, a warrior who balances between life and death, and one who returns to weave to balance” Shepard paused for a moment “Whether this is one man of three I have yet to know, but I don’t believe if coincidence, the weave reveals much to me, and when a Waylen shows itself after years of quiet and quickly makes friends with one who can straddle life and death… I take these matter seriously” he began to pace on his podium “My new mount requires much of my attention…” he gestured towards the egg “I have done much for you Caius… Was it not I who fixed the chair so you could sit on it? Was it not I who hunted down those who opposed you and had them silenced? Was it not I who secured the power of the druids by sending them the wealth of the Littles? And all too often I have asked for you to merely stay out of my affairs.” He paced more quickly as his gaze roamed the room before settling once more on the pig “I find it hard to believe that such stupidity runs so rampant in your order Caius… This would-be Druid is as much a threat to you and your order as to my plans and yet you fool around with ridiculous notions like boarders and laws. Things created by weak men designed to protect and empower weak men.”

“My Lord…” Caius said in an appeasing tone, he did not get further as lightening flung down singeing the piggy and eliciting an involuntary squeal of pain

“I WANT EMRYS DEAD BY THE SOLTICE! I WANT HIM TRULY DEAD! PUSHED BEYOND THE VEIL AND SEALED, NEVER TO AGAIN RETURN! I WANT MEAGRE IN MY POSSESION BY THE SOLTICE, alive preferably, dead… acceptable” his gaze shifted between the two druids as his voice dropped to a menacing whisper

“If a single moment of the 22nd of Sunsebb passes without this being done, you will become the first meal of my newly hatched mount” a long silence stretched on before Shepard spoke again “Caius… this form suits you… never appear before me again outside of that form, should I see you in any other…” he let the threat hang there. Finally he turned back towards the egg, sitting at the edge of the podium once more, his mind reached out with the weave to the egg… for what cause one could only guess at. His hand reached out and made a shoeing gesture dismissing the druids. Who quickly left the cave and the Waylen to his dark deeds.

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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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