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Thread: The Runaway Galley Slaves (RP)

  1. #16
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    ((Augh, I meant to have this done yesterday, but this weekend has been way busier than expected. BTW, nice avatar. I’ve changed mine to reflect the story as well.

    Oh, and I PMed you a quick reference guide to the secondary galley slaves for use.))

    Salamandastron. Redwall Abbey. Both were strange and far off places to Furlough as he imagined how these places appeared based on Patchouli’s descriptions, with some of Redwall’s added in from his father’s old tales. The tired otter rested his head and yawned as Patchouli continued on, not out of boredom. No, if the lad could, he’d stay up all night prodding the experienced hare with questions of these places. When Patchouli promised him he’d make it home to his crew, he fully believed that the Colonel would uphold his vow. Yet as the hare told him of these far off places, Furl couldn’t help but imagine himself questing to these places on an adventure without the aid of his father’s crew.

    “Hehe, sorry ta torture ya mate,” apologized the otter over his growling stomach. “Got grub on th’ noggin’.” He felt a little foolish dreaming about food when he had fortune of eating a proper meal only earlier that morning before he was snatched.

    The otter leaned back and smiled wistfully as the images in his mind formed a more complete picture of the Abbey, of the kind creatures, and of their mighty protector Martin and his powerful sword. Truly the sword of Martin could stand up to whatever blade the vermin planned on drudging up.

    All of the daydreaming was short lived as Worble chimed in with his verbal barrage to dash their dreams. Furl considered himself fortunate that he sat next to Patchouli; otherwise he’d have to stuff his ears with seaweed next to a killjoy like the shrew.

    “Oh belay yer bile,” sighed Furl as he shook his head. “Two pore beasts can dream, can’t they?”

    “I ainst a complainer, mate,” countered Worble. “As long as we got’s our chains round our wrists an’ legs, we ain’t goin’ no where. ‘Tis th’ truth. Ain’t nobeast gettin’ off this ship alive.”

    “Must ye always spoil every conversation with yer prattle?” inquired Pascal, tiring of his companion’s chatter. “Still, he has a point. Nobeast’s gotten away from th’ Bloodrine an’ lived ta tell about it.”

    “An’ don’t think ol’ Patchy’ll be th’ first,” added Worble with a sarcastic laugh. “He’s their jewel in their rotten garbage down ‘ere.”

    “Has anybeast tried?” asked a hopeful squirrelmaid, daring to speak up for the first time. The red squirrel was another newcomer, only a few seasons older than Furlough. “We can’t know unless someone does?”

    Worble wheezed a sickly chuckle through his teeth and winked at the squirrelmaid.

    “Oh one beast tried, another squirrel ifs I remember right,” recalled the shrew. “The ol’ cap’n caught ‘im an’ made shark chum outta ‘im.”

    The squirrelmaid’s face dropped in despair as the poor galley slave rested her head in her paws and softly wept to herself. Her oarmate, another shrew piped up at Worble. “Can’t ya treat anybeast with a pawfulla decency?” The shrew, named Brackle patted the squirrel’s knee. “Don’t let ‘im bother ya Twezel, he ain’t but a nittyhead.”

    Worble enjoyed the attention he got from drawing the ire from other beasts. The shrew leaned back and stroked his wispy beard in smug satisfaction. “She asked a question, I gaves th’ answer.”

    Furl saw the despair in Twezel’s face and gritted his teeth. If only he could lay his paws on the cruel shrew. But as the thought bounced around in his mind, another slipped inside that brought a smirk to his muzzle. Furl chuckled a bit which drew the attention of his fellow slaves.

    “Those corsairs like ta steal an’ plunder, right?” asked Furl, knowing full well the answer. “Wouldn’t it be a sight if we plundered their liddle trident from right under their noses?”

    “How’d we do that?” asked an elder harvest mouse named Cale sitting in front of him.

    “By workin’ together an’ escapin’,” suggested Furl. “We’ll wait ‘till th’ ship make landfall an’ make a break fer it. Sounds like th’ cap’n’ll be trekkin’ fer his trident. We could make th’ slip without worryin’ ‘bout ‘im bitin’ our heads off.”

    Of course all of the slaves had dreamed of escaping, but threat of immediate capture and death quelled any hope of making it a reality. However, most of the beasts hadn’t thought to work together in making a shipbreak. The galley slaves began muttering amongst themselves at the suggestion.
    Last edited by Mulchior Lancer; October 6th, 2014 at 12:18 AM.
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

  2. #17
    Dibbun Patchouli's Avatar
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    Sep 2014
    ((Sorry for the late reply ;-; School is hard.

    I've actually been using this avatar for quite a while now, not on this forum of course. XD What a funny coincidence it fit the RP so well.))

    Patchouli had, for the most part, stayed silent throughout the exchange. Being the "special" one out of the slaves, he hadn't wanted to trouble the others if they were caught being friendly with him, so he'd always been keeping his chatter to a minimum. He'd had quite a few mates, but none of them lasted very long due to being his oar partner. Furlough already knew all that. There was no point in being dejected and robbing the otter of all his hope, so Patchouli had opened up to Furlough, in hopes of covering for the young one.

    As the other beasts continued on, Patchouli fiddled with his manacles, inspecting the cuffs around his wrists. The cuffs were simply made; they were kept around the wrist by a simple padlock to keep the cuffs tightly closed.

    His mind raced. If he had a sharp and thin object of any kind, the lock could probably be picked. The problem was how they'd be able to get such an object.

    He pondered on what to do, assessing possible scenarios and ideas. He couldn't come up with a solid scheme, so he tuned in to the slaves' conversation. Furlough had just suggested to steal the trident from the vermin.

    For the first time, the hare chimed into a group conversation. "The idea is... Possible, wot," he commented thoughtfully, turning the padlock over in his paw.

    The other slaves quieted, attentions turning to the veteran fighter. Only Worble snickered out loud. "Hah! And 'ow are we gonna make a break fer it, eh? Yer just lookin' to git us all killed."

    But Patchouli's former rank as Colonel was a well known fact amongst the slaves, and more than a few of them were eager to listen, after being fired up by all the talk of escape.

    Pascal reprimanded the outgoing shrew. "We should let Patchouli speak. If it means getting out of this rotten place, I'm all for it, unless it'll endanger the slaves' lives."

    Patchouli nodded his thanks at Pascal. "Well..." he started, suddenly finding it awkward to speak while holding the intense stares of so many beasts. "As I said, it's indeed possible to make a getaway, wot wot. We all know by now that the vermin are plannin' to obtain some jolly ol' trident."

    "How would that help us?" Twezel interrupted, confused.

    "T'will be an important part of our escape, if we're still plannin' on it, wot! Like what Furl here said. Most of th'crew won't be around when we reach shore, wot wot." The hare turned his attention to the harvest mouse in front of them. "Cale ol' chap, d'you suppose these locks can be picked?"

    Cale blinked, a glimmer of hope rising in his dull eyes. The chain was the biggest obstacle in their escape plan, but as he inspected his own padlock, he nodded solemnly. "Aye, I believe it can be picked."

    At this, the slaves began chattering again, and the energy in the atmosphere rose considerably. "Right. Now the problem is how we escape these chains. None of us 'cept the vermin have any knives or the like, wot! I'm open to suggestions."

    The slaves began to discuss their escape with new found vigour.

  3. #18
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    ((Ugh, this has been the first time I could write for the past few days. Many apologies for keeping you waiting on this, and thanks for your patience. I’ll throw out a suggestion for the escape in this post. If you think it’s lame or want to go in a different route, let me know. I won’t be offended. (: If it works, I have it set up so that after your turn, we can time jump to the actual escape for my next round.

    And awesome about the avatar! Who knew it would come in handy one day?))

    Furlough’s excitement grew as the talk of escape became more and more of a reality amongst his fellow slaves. Furl had no desire to remain chained up in the galley longer than he had to, and knew the others felt the same way. Now the difficult part of the planning— how to escape their chains and get weapons to defend themselves.

    “When I wuz bein’ brought on board, I remember seein’ a stockroom filled with weapons,” explained Brackle. “They snatched my trusty rapier an’ stored it there. I’d imagine that’s where they’re keepin’ anythin’ they took from us.”

    Furl rubbed his sore paws together with glee. If the slavers that knocked him out had taken his spear, there might be a chance it was locked away in that storeroom.

    “Only problem is we ain’t got a clue ‘ow guarded it is,” pointed out Pascal. “Don’t wanna rush up there an’ get us all slain.” Brackle snickered at the hedgehog’s comment and shook his head.

    “It ‘ould take a garrison o’ those cowards ta stop me from gettin’ me rapier back,” bragged Brackle. “An’ I’m sure a few o’ us know ‘ow ta fight wit jus’ our bare paws.”

    “Heh, still don’t solve ‘ow we'll git our chains off,” countered Worble, shaking his bonds for an added effect. “Till then we’re rooted ‘ere like plants.”

    Twezel remained quiet for most of the exchange. She listened to the chatter in rapt attention. The peaceful squirrel wanted the other beasts to have a turn talking, as she felt she didn’t have much to offer in their plans. Yet when Worble mentioned the need for some sort of lock picking device and the word plant, an idea popped in the red squirrel’s mind.

    “’Scuse me, but I might have something of use,” announced the pensive squirrel. Twezel reached above her ear where a flower had been adorning it. She pulled it out, revealing the flower to be a decorative pin. “My mother gave me this, it’s been part of my family for as long as I can remember.” The squirrel stifled a sniff, brushing her paw by her eye to wipe away a tear. “Those corsairs snuck up on us while we were travelling. They slew her, but took me for some reason.” The squirrel looked up to Patchouli as she clenched the precious heirloom in her paws. “You can use it to see if it will help, but please promise you will take care of it.”

    Worble harrumphed and shot Twezel a baleful gaze, which made Twezel look away in embarrassment.

    “Whydja wait ta say so ya silly tree-whalloper?” spat Worble. The irritable shrew closed his eyes and shook his head, resigned to his fate. “B’sides, no use in tryin’ it now. Where’d we run? Nutthin’ but open water all ‘round us. Th’ corsairs ‘ould skew us wid their weapons while we gawk an’ gape at th’ sea.”

    The other beasts murmured and grumbled under their breaths at the shrew. Furl grit his teeth, but inside he knew Worble had a point. Still, he couldn’t let the shrew have the last word in the conversation.

    “Maybe so, but nuthin’ wrong with givin’ it a try so we know it works,” suggested Furl. “If it does, we’ll wait ‘till they anchor at shore an’ try then.”

    “But that could be for weeks,” sighed Cale. “Who knows how long our tired paws can last ‘till we have our opportunity.” A few voices behind Worble and Pascal agreed in hushed unison.

    “Believe me mates, no one knows that better ‘n me,” agreed Furlough, drooping his head. The motion made the wound on his back sting in pain, and the otter winced. If anyone had an uphill surviving until landfall, it was the oar partner of the hated Long Patrol hare. Not that Furl blamed Patchouli in the least, but rather the cruel paws of the wicked Wharll. Still, the otter needed to put on a brave face if the others were to go along with the plan. “I’m willin’ t’ wait it out, even if I don’t make it. Jus’ as long as a few of us can make it.”

    The others quieted their complaints at the otter’s resolve, which encouraged Furl. The young lad turned to Twezel and stretched out his paw towards her. “Don’t worry, Patchouli’ll take good care of yer furpin.”

    Twezel nodded and stretched out her paws towards Furl with the furpin, chains groaning from their efforts. There was just enough room for Furl to snatch it between his paws and pull back. The pin slid down slightly, the weight of the flower decoration trying to send it into the murky cesspool below their footpaws. The otter brought it back in a swift motion, deftly clenching it in his paws. He passed the pin to Patchouli and gave the hare a reassuring nod.

    “I’m wit’ ya mate, whether I make it or not,” reassured Furl.

    “Jus’ remember,” whispered Pascal behind the two. “We’re puttin’ our lives in yer paws. If it costs us all our lives, our blood’s over yer heads.” There was no malice in the hedgehog’s voice, just the urgent warnings of a concerned leader watching over his fellow slaves. Still, the otter had just enough doubting talk that he couldn’t help but mutter under his breath.

    “Better that ‘n bein’ used as a tool fer conquerin’ that mountain,” murmured Furl, eyes growing cold with hatred for his captors.
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

  4. #19
    Dibbun Patchouli's Avatar
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    Sep 2014
    ((no problem! Take as much time as you need My replies will probably take longer now too T.T

    Your escape route will work just fine. I actually had a similar thought for the escape. We can start part two on your reply!))

    As the slaves chattered, Patchouli returned to inspecting the lock. The keyhole was small; a dagger tip could probably fit in but the slaves didn't have any weaponry. The hare looked around, and his gaze eventually fell onto Pascal, the hedgehog chained behind him. Pascal's sharp needles could probably do the job...

    "Pas-" he started, before Brackle spoke up.

    The storeroom would certainly solve the slaves' defenselessness, and his own longbow and sabre were probably held there as well. Obtaining weapons would be essential in their escape plan. All of the slaves, even if some weren't particularly skilled with weaponry, could at least handle a knife or dagger. If they looted the storeroom, it would also deplete the vermin of some of their weapons.

    "Pascal ol' chap, the ship itself - never mind the storeroom - won't be heavily guarded, wot. When we reach land, the vermin'll be too busy retrieving that trident of theirs," Patchouli assured the worrisome hedgehog. "I'll bet my tail there won't be more than a half a dozen guards, wot wot."

    Pascal looked doubtful for a moment, but decided against arguing with the veteran hare.

    "Aye Brackle, what I wouldn't give to have my sabre back!" Patchouli sighed longingly. It was his best weapon, and many foebeasts had met their ends at the tip of the lethal blade. "I just 'ope that vile rat doesn't take it with him, wot." Wharll had taking a liking to his sabre, sometimes parading in front of the chained hare while flourishing it. Hopefully, the rat wouldn't take it with him when the vermin leaves the ship.

    When the conversation finally circled back to the problem of the chains, Patchouli was almost dancing with irritation. He had been too busy replying to the others. "That shouldn't be a problem! See here, Pascal's-"

    "'Scuse me," Twezel piped up. The slaves' attentions all went to her.

    "Just 'cause a jolly chap doesn't have a pretty face , wot," muttered the hare under his breath. He was shushed by Pascal.

    The hare quieted, and listened to Twezel's story. "I'm sorry for your loss, lassie..." All of the slaves' stories were quite similar, filled with loss and sorrow. He empathized with Twezel, having been in a similar situation. None of the vermin's victims deserved what they got. "Don't you worry now, if that pin can pick locks, that's all we're gonna use it for, wot. I'll have it returned in a jiffy after our escape."

    Worble rudely spoke his mind again. His pessimistic views seemed to lower morale, and the slaves began to talk in doubt. Patchouli mentally kicked the bothersome shrew; every time he spoke up, it wasn't to offer ideas but instead jabbed at the hope of the slaves.

    "Now see here, shrew..." Patchouli reproved, speaking with forced patience. "Twezel didn't know any better. There's no point throwing blame around, wot. And like Furlough said, if her pin can pick the locks, then we will wait until the ship hits land. There won't be any other chances for escape otherwise, wot."

    But the shrew's hopeless comment had already spread, and Cale voiced his doubts as well. Patchouli shook his head at the wavering resolve of the slaves, feeling his temper rise.

    "Well, that's all up to us t'keep ourselves alive, eh wot!" Patchouli was growing impatient with the hopeless attitude of the slaves. If they kept this up, then the escape plan is bound to fail. "If none of you have hope, then we'll truly, never escape. I don't know about you all, but I'm sick of being chained to this confounded ship, wot. All of your moping is doing a whole lot of good for you lot, eh? Bad form, sah, bad form!"

    At Patchouli's outburst and Furlough's resolve, the slaves seemed to be thinking twice again. The hare nodded approvingly towards Furlough. "Spoken like a true warrior, wot! Now, pass the pin."

    Patchouli waited patiently for the pin to be passed to him. He could barely hide his excitement as the tiny object found its way to his grip. "Let's hope this works, wot," he breathed to Furlough, clasping the pin tightly as if it could sprout wings and fly off.

    The Long Patrol hare was no thief, and it took him a while to work with the lock. All the other slaves waited with hushed anticipation as he fumbled with the pin, attempting to release the mechanism that held the lock closed. No matter what he tried, the lock wouldn't budge. A few slaves lost their attention, resigning to their seemingly inevitable slave life.

    "Hah!" Worble spat, eying Patchouli darkly. "So much fer escapin'. Talkin' like a hero and gitting our 'opes up."

    With a frustrated grunt, Patchouli banged the cuff against the oar. "Those ballywaggin' vermin scum!" Upon impact, a satisfying click came from the lock, and the cuff abruptly fell off. Patchouli shook his paw. He had banged it harder than he had intended.

    Every single beast's jaw dropped. "Well then! As planned; we will move as soon as we hit land, wot!" Patchouli replaced the cuff onto his wrist, and held up the pin.

    His eyes sparkled with excitement.

  5. #20
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    ((It begins...)

    Hushed excitement flowed through the Galley Slaves like electricity as they realized that for the very first time they had some sort of tangible hope. Even Worble was dumbstruck, the argumentative shrew harrumphed and kept quiet. Truthfully, even he was hopeful now that escape was a possible reality, but kept his thoughts to himself. Patchouli slipped the pin inside of his shirt, hiding it in such a way that no prying vermin eyes would ever chance to notice it. The group quieted down and returned back to getting what little sleep they could for the harsh work in the morning. Furlough smiled as he shut his eyes, thankful that his time aboard the Bloodrine would be short. The otter had no need to wallow in depression, as now he had hope. He’d need it, too.

    The trip up to the Northern coast should’ve only taken the Bloodrine a few days to complete. Only a few days into the trip, a mighty squall bore down on the wooden vessel, striking the ship with all of its unbridled fury. Yet in his determination to get to the legendary trident, Captain Ironteeth ordered the ship onward, often standing in the midst of the downpour and shaking his paw at the fates. This led to punishing work on behalf of the galley slaves, giving them exhausting work for little progress.

    Furlough’s youth benefited him, as he quickly got the routine of a galley slave down, giving much needed aid to the workload of his oarmate. The promise of a future escape and revenge lulled Furlough into a false sense of confidence, one which he’d soon regret. True to Worble’s warnings, Wharll gave Furlough and Patchouli much more attention than the rest. As if the rat slavemaster knew his time punishing the hare would come to an end, Wharll found any excuse to punish the two with strikes from his whip tail.

    A few days in, Furlough made the mistake of refusing to show Wharll any sign of fear or despair. At the end of one particularly rough day at sea when the Bloodrine came close to sinking, the cruel rat slavemaster decided to make an example of the rebellious otter. Before the slave’s one and only meal for the day, the rat laid into Furlough with a ferocious attack, striking the otter’s back over and over and coating Furlough’s brown tunic crimson from his blood. Wharll left the unfortunate otter unconscious and holding onto life by a thread. There was little for Patchouli, Pascal, and the others to do but do their best to revive Furlough and try to motivate him to keep fighting on.

    Life as a galley slave was hard, and slaves that couldn’t work were thrown overboard and left to drown, if they weren’t dead already. When the otter showed signs of life, Patchouli had to revert to his old position as Long Patrol Colonel and bark at Furlough to fight or face a watery demise. To Wharll’s surprise the next morning, Furlough was back in position, though tattered and sore, ready to begin the day again. However, the event changed the otter. His eyes lacked their youthful gleam, replaced by the stare of a beaten and downcast galley slave. Yet behind those eyes burned a seething rage at the rat, and Furlough dreamed of the day he’d see his tormentor sent to the bowels of Hellgates.

    Not all of the slaves were as fortunate as Furlough. During the voyage, one of the newcomers, a mole that had said little during his short stay, hadn’t recovered from his initial seasickness. The poor beast couldn’t move his paws and row to save his life one morning. Wharll took delight in taking the sick mole and tossing him overboard to drown.

    Furlough shook his exhausted head as the mole was led away. Those vile vermin, he thought, anybeast worth their salt knows a mole is no use on a ship. Another slave, a squirrel who had spent a few seasons in the galleys, couldn’t take another day at sea and gave up the ghost in the middle of his shift. Wharll didn’t have as much fun tossing him overboard. He rather enjoyed hearing the slaves beg for mercy before walking the plank.

    While the days at sea were spent in back breaking labor, at night the slaves worked out their escape plan while Peg Jed slept in his drunken stupor. While the slaves were free to go where they pleased when they made their escape, a group headed by Pascal and Brackle would journey southwards towards Salamandastron to alert Lord Hortrow and the Long Patrol of Captain Ironteeth’s plans to attack the mountain fortress. Patchouli had no plans to let Captain Ironteeth simply get his precious trident at least without a fight. The hare told the group they didn’t have to come along if they wished, only wanting willing volunteers. No beast spoke up to volunteer at first, as the last thing they wanted to do was put themselves in the path of the pine marten landshark. For a moment, it looked like no beast was willing to join the hare in the dangerous mission until his oarmate spoke up.

    “Ye can count me in, mate,” volunteered Furlough in a hoarse voice. “Can’t let ye have all th’ fun huntin’ down th’ vermin scum.”

    And so the pact was made. The once green otter had grown strong and calloused after his jaunt at sea. Together, the hare and the otter would risk their lives in an effort to stop the mad corsair from tormenting the coastline another day.

    The end of the long voyage came two weeks after the initial departure. The Bloodrine docked anchor in a small inlet leading off towards the northern highlands at the edge of Mossflower. Captain Ironteeth and the rest of his landing party took their supplies off of the ship and made their preparations for their journey. Still, the prideful sea rat couldn't help one last tormentful visit to his captives.

    “Don’t go anywhere be beauties,” taunted the sea rat with a wink. “We set sail as soon as th’ Cap’n an me return from our liddle trip. Then it’s of to yer home, rabbit.”

    Wharll flashed a toothy grin as he moved his overcoat to show he was wearing Patchouli’s sabre, taking it with him for the trek. The slaver whistled a sea shanty as he left Peg Jed to his duties.

    Furlough smirked when he saw Peg Jed take a long pull at his flask right on schedule. It wouldn’t be long now before the drunk was passed out in his chair snoring away for his last nap. The slaves eyed each other and nodded, the moment they had been waiting for had arrived.
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

  6. #21
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    ((Sent a PM))

    Meanwhile, outside of the galley.

    With a curved sword raised high above him, Captain Ironteeth moved his raiding party inland into the wild borders of the Northland. The normally loud and flamboyant corsair’s mood had changed to silent determination. Nothing would keep him from reaching his prize, and he’d kill any beast that got in his way. Vendrus led the party, with Captain Ironteeth, Braccul, Scarla, and the officers following closely behind, with the rest of the corsairs spread around to act as a protective buffer. Wharll Whiptail kept watch at the rear, keeping an eye out for any possible deserters, while also searching for signs of other vermin to press into their service, or perhaps an innocent traveler ripe for galley service.

    Vendrus knew the trail to the keep of Moltok the Forger well, but put on an act of one who had only heard of the way. The ermine would lead them there, but he couldn’t take them the fastest route. He needed to be sure his other partners would bring their parties around the same time.

    Vendrus rubbed his arms together as a leaf fell from one of the ash trees beside him. Autumn had just arrived, and the appointed time for the gathering of vermin bidders for the trident would be very soon. If all went well, they’d get to the keep right on schedule, just in time for the bidding war. Moltok was going to make him a very rich beast. Vendrus grinned to himself as he took the path right at the fork, setting the party for the long and slow path up into the highlands.


    The Bloodrine bobbed about, tethered to the inlet coastline with its rusted red anchor resting in the shallow ocean floor. The deck sat bereaved of all activity other than a lone sea rat keeping watch along the rails, watching the torch fires of the landing party dim to twinkling dots as they disappeared into the foreboding landscape. The sea rat eased his posture and kept his patrol to a lazy stroll, with his superiors absent, he could go about his duties as he wished.

    Inside the mess hall, the remaining crew left behind to keep watch on the ship settled down to a long evening of merriment. Olf, the bulky fox galley drummer, munched on bits of fish as three other vermin crew members gambled their future plunder while quaffing three season old seaweed grog.

    “An’ tha’s a pair o’ adder’s eyes ta win th’ round,” boasted a stoat named Kerg, slamming down the mug the corsairs used to shake the dice.

    Welts, a tough looking weasel, snarled and tossed bits of trash the three gamblers were using in place of actual money. The weasel grumbled as he drank until the liquid dripped down the wispy goatee that formed on his chin.

    “Well, thar goes all me earnin’s,” spat Welts with resentment. Iblez, a fat ermine with a bandanna that obscured his eyes, peered up at the weasel.

    “Don’t see why yer so crabby,” sniped Iblez with a scowl. “Ye still has a slave doan in th’ galleys earnin’ ya plunder. Me good fer nothin’ catch didn’t last a week.” The ermine spat on the floor before reaching out with a clawed paw, retrieving the dice from the middle of the table.

    Welts leaned back into his chair until it leaned against the wooden wall behind him. The weasel absentmindedly swirled the dark liquid in his drink until it spiraled. Any corsairs sent out to catch and press new galley slaves onto the ship were given pay for as long as their slave was alive and working. This was to deter the pirate pressers from catching old or weak slaves. Pick a strong and healthy slave and the corsair could expect payment for quite a few seasons to come. However, pick a weak or frail catch and the rewards disappeared as quickly as their lives.

    “Heh, tha’s wot ya git fer not usin’ yer noggin’ porridge ‘ead,” scolded Welts with an eyeroll. “Me ‘n Hydle thoughts we ‘ad a good un when we’s snatched an otter. But from wot we ‘eard outta Peg Jed’s tha’ ‘ee got paired up wit that rabbit. Says ol’ Wharll’s got it out fer ‘im.” At that, Welts sighed and took a long drink from his tankard before slamming it down. “Hydle prolly volunteered t’ go wit th’ cap’n so th’ sneak could try ‘is luck wit another one. Don’t blame ‘im, our current un’s as good as dead.”

    Olf the drummer sniffed before brushing aside bits of fish from his muzzle. The stocky fox never said much, as the

    “Won’t matter much if yers dies or not,” muttered Olf, taking a fish bone and picking bits of meat out of his fangs. “Tha’ mountain we’re goin’ to is ripe fer slave pickin’. Jus’ cripple un an’ drag ‘em back ta th’ ship. Like shootin’ barrels in a fish.”

    The three other corsairs laughed at the joke, not willing to correct the fox on his flub. None of them wanted to find themselves in the Olf’s massive strangling arms.

    Outside the mess hall sat the storeroom where all of the valuable weapons were kept. Kerg’s assignment was to guard the storeroom, but stoat figured one evening of fun wouldn’t hurt.

    On the other side of the mess hall sat the stairs leading down to the galley. If any beast were to reach the storeroom, they’d have to pass by the mess hall, as well as the sea rat sentry without being seen. While not an impossible task, it was no doubt a frustrating obstacle for an anxious slave looking to escape to freedom.
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

  7. #22
    Dibbun Patchouli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    There was a new spark of hope among the slaves, and Patchouli thought he could feel the lift in the atmosphere already. Slipping the pin into his tattered tunic, he nodded to Twezel, assuring the pin's safety. Twezel nodded back, determination lit in her eyes. They would escape no matter what.

    "Now, let's all get some shuteye and keep our strengths up, eh, wot," Patchouli addressed the group. "We'll get out of this - we definitely will!" Everybeast soon quieted, and Patchouli found himself drifting off to a blissful slumber. That night, he dreamed of home at Salamandastron and food at Redwall - something that had not happened in ever since he was confined.

    But it seemed that as the back-breaking days passed, the slaves' luck would soon begin to sour. The ship was caught in the middle of a mighty tempest and every beast was worked to the bone, under the harsher punishments of the slave captains, who were eager to stay on their Captain's good side. Captain Ironteeth's determination to obtain the trident equaled the slaves' determination to free themselves. For a while, it seemed no beast would last long enough to see the day where they would escape together. It was only through the encouragement of a few optimistic slaves that they were all able to maintain their hopes, except for Worble, who reverted back to his complaining old self.

    As time went on, Patchouli noticed the force he used to was beginning to be matched by Furlough. He nodded constant encouragement to the otter, always reminding him that they will eventually escape, and this served to enforce his own hope as well. But the otter had, unfortunately, forgotten Patchouli's earlier words of advice and was punished by Wharll.

    Unable to watch such cruelty against a young'un, Patchouli snapped, and with a growl of rage, grabbed Wharll when he strayed too close to the vengeful hare. The hare's ridiculous strength brought forth from the labour of rowing could not be equaled by the slavemaster, and a few of the vermin crew arrived to the commotion just in time to see Wharll's face turning a bruised purple as the air was choked out of him from the tight coils of the chains.

    The boldness of Patchouli's act earned him a personal audience with the sadistic Ironteeth, who had viewed the event with great humour. It took four vermin to hold Patchouli down, and to drag him to the Captain's chamber.

    Patchouli was seated in in front of a square table. His paws were bound by two cuffs with a chain in the middle, just long enough for him to move. Wharll was situated behind the Captain, nursing his neck where the marks from the chains were still visible. Another vermin, a burly stoat, stood beside Irontooth.

    The pine marten regarded Patchouli with calm, cruel eyes. He gestured to the food laid out in front of Patchouli, and sipped seaweed grog from his own mug. "Come now, I know yer rabbits can tuck down vittles like no other. I'm served nothin' but the best on board."

    Patchouli met the captain's gaze with his own, filled with the cold fury of a beast now with no other desire but to slay all the vermin on the ship. "The day I touch your grime will be the day I die, vermin filth!" He spat, enraged.

    Anger flashed in the pine marten's eyes - he had never been addressed this way before. Swallowing back his anger in a pretense of gulping his down his drink, he ignored the comment. He laid the mug down with a contented sigh, wiping his mouth with a sleeve. "Now then, rabbit, I'm here to make ya an offer. I know ya used to be one of that stripedog's forces - why don't ya join my crew instead? I'll make yew my strong right hand, how 'bout it? After all, the stripedog will be no more." He laughed nastily, flashing the rows of fake teeth. "We could use someone strong like ya. Y'used to be a Colonel, right? Yew can be my chief strategist. "

    Forgetting his own advice to Furlough, Patchouli roared and lunged across the table, paws outstretched to strangle Ironteeth. Braccul whipped out his cutlass just in time, and Patchouli was stopped by the sharp edge of the weapon at his throat. The captain, in his scramble, had fallen backwards in his chair. Despite the danger, Patchouli leaned forward against the weapon, and hissed to the captain. "The Long Patrol beat you once, and we'll beat you again! I dare you to step onto our jolly coasts, wot! Lord Hortrow is a thousand times the warrior you cowards will ever be!" A trickle of blood stained his fur. He ignored it, and directed his sharp glare to Wharll. "And you, rat, you and I have a score to settle! From now on, y'better be watchin' your back, because I swear, one day, I will kill you!" The end of his sentence dropped to a low snarl as he bared his teeth. Wharll shrunk a little, feeling the glare burn into him.

    "Enough!" Ironteeth threw the mug, and it whizzed past Patchouli's face to shatter against the wooden wall. The captain had hastily resumed as what he thought was a regal position in the chair. "Enough of yew, rabbit! Drag 'im out, and make sure he works double! No food or water fer 'im until I says so!"

    Patchouli, with one last glare, allowed himself to be dragged away by Braccul. Wharll preferred not to touch him. Resounding laughter could be heard as the hare taunted Ironteeth while heading towards the belly of the ship. "Hahaha! You think you can defeat Lord Hortrow just because you have a jolly set of new teeth, wot? Think again, because they'll all just be knocked out again! Haha!"

    Throughout the day, the other slaves helped Furlough and Patchouli's plight. Furlough had been left in a terrible condition, and Patchouli and the nearest slaves to their row helped him recover. With Patchouli's sentence of no food or water, every beast rationed a bit of their servings to help the hare.

    Every beast was beginning to become worn out, and two slaves were lost. Helpless, the survivors could do nothing but mourn for the pair's passings.

    But every night, the slaves came alive with activity, planning the course of action for their fated day. Patchouli was grateful for Pascal and Brackle's offer to warn Lord Hortrow - The Long Patrol definitely would not be attacked unprepared. The hare himself took up the dangerous mission of stealing the Captain's trident, and for a moment, it seemed as if the task was to be carried out by him alone. The volunteer was Furlough. Patchouli couldn't simply refuse the otter after everything they'd been through together, however, he could not help be feel a pang of regret for the lost innocence of the young'un.

    "Thanks, ol' chap. We'll get through this together," he laughed darkly.

    Soon, the ship finally reached land. The slaves waited in hushed anticipation for the leave of the crew, led by Captain Ironteeth. Unfortunately, Wharll made a special appearance just for Patchouli, relishing the hare's expression as his sabre's position was revealed to him. Patchouli seethed at the thought of his precious weapon being defiled by a vermin.

    "You won't be laughing for long... rat," Patchouli muttered at the disappearing back of Wharll.

    When finally Patchouli judged the time was right, he brought out the pin and shed his chains. Peg Jed was in a state of drunken unconsciousness. The hare instructed every beast to keep quiet and stay in their places, taking upon himself to scout out the ship. He passed the pin to Furlough before leaving, and the pin was eventually handled by every paw, making its way back to Twezel. The squirrelmaid hugged the pin to her chest, sobbing at the newly attained freedom her pin brought.

    Patchouli snuck past Peg Jed, giving the corsair two sharp raps between the ears to knock him out cold. He walked on, only to be stopped at the mess hall. Remaining in the shadows, he counted four vermin, gambling and generally not paying attention to their surroundings. The slaves would have to make it past them before they could reach the storeroom.

    The hare crept back to the slaves with the information. Some of the former slaves where quietly sobbing, overcome by emotions. Most of the beasts fidgeted, eager to leave the rotten place. Patchouli shushed the group, calling for their attention.

    "There are 4 of the crew in the mess hall, we'd have to get through them if we want to get to the storeroom, wot."

    Twezel piped up. "What do you suggest we do?"

    "What do we do, m'gel? I'll tell you what. We kill them," Patchouli stated bluntly, sympathy completely void in his flat voice.

    Pascal was horrified and opposed the idea openly. "But that'll make us murderers! We can't just kill'em!"

    "So what? Killin' 'em swift an' orderly is much better than 'ow they treated us!" Worble retorted.

    At this, the slaves split with different opinions. Subdued arguments surfaced. Patchouli shook his head, allowing the slaves to express their ideas.

    "Quiet!" Patchouli commanded in a loud whisper. "For the beasts who don't want to get your paws dirty, you don't have to, wot. But these vermin are nothin' but cold hearted murderers. No sense in letting them live. They'll just take more slaves and ruin lives. Better to end them here and now, wot wot."

  8. #23
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Though he had only been a galley slave for only two weeks, jubilation pulsed through Furlough Scalloway like a surge of electricity. The otter had to wipe away a tear from his eye at the joy he had when Patchouli undid the shackles binding him to his seat. He massaged his paws over his wrists where the manacles had bruised his skin under his fur, but only for a moment, as there was work to be done.

    Taking the pin from Patchouli before the hare began his scouting mission; Furlough went straightaway at freeing the other slaves, starting with Twezel, and then making the rounds until freeing Pascal and Worble. The hedgehog had insisted he be freed last, so that the others could be served first. Furlough couldn’t help but smile as the former slaves wept in hushed tones at their newfound freedom. Once Pascal had been freed, the otter dutifully returned the lifesaving pin to Twezel, tears running down the squirrel’s cheek.

    “Thank ye miss fore lendin’ us yer pin,” thanked Furlough. “Yer quick thinkin’ saved the lot of us.”

    As the other slaves thanked the squirrel, Patchouli returned with the news for the next phase of escape. Apparently there were four corsairs still on the ship, and if the group had a chance of escaping, they would have to be dealt with in a permanent manner. This suggestion was met with resistance, which surprised the otter.

    “We can’t do that, we’d be no better’n ‘em.”

    “Eh, slay th’ whole lot o’ ‘em, says I. Nuttin’ good ‘ould come o’ ‘em anyways.”

    “Don’t think I have th’ strength ta do it...”

    Patchouli shushed the lot of them and rebuked their hesitance. The experienced campaigner laid out the offer to the fellow slaves, join in and kill the corsairs, or sit back and let the other slaves do it. All was quiet at first, until Furlough once again spoke up.

    “Look at us, a bunch of dibbuns afraid to slay a buncha black hearted sea scum,” growled Furlough. “Wot if they went after yer family, would ye still be shakin’ on yore paws? I’m scared, too. I’ve never killed a beast, much less been in a real fight, but I won’t have another woodlander take my place cos I let the vermin live. I’ll fight.”

    “Aye, well spoken friend,” agreed Brackle the shrew. “I won’t stay down here an’ keep my paws clean. I’m in, too.”

    “I’ve been dreamin’ of this moment since I arrived as a young mouse,” admitted Cale, stepping forward, almost embarrassed at his desire for revenge. “I’ve used a sword before, so I will join you in your fight.”

    A youngish water vole named Yarly stood forward with Cale, Brackle, and Furlough, rubbing his paws together. “I’ll fight too, fer throwin’ pore Mudsil, me mole oarmate, overboard fer bein’ seasick.”

    Twezel clasped her paws together and spoke softly. “I am not a fighter, but a healer. I would only get in the way if I joined you. However, after the battle, I will aid you by dressing your wounds with whatever healing items the ship has to offer.”

    The newly formed party nodded at each other, ready to head upstairs and deal back the suffering laid on them by the cruel corsairs. Before they could head upstairs and begin, a dark chuckle uttered behind Patchouli. The group of slaves turned to find Worble standing behind the unconscious body of Peg Jed, brandishing a dagger stolen from the corsair’s side that had been hidden in his smelly coat.

    “Lookit at all o’ ya, so diplomatic in yer murderin’,” spoke Worble. “Yet ya left one here nappin’.” The shrew clicked his tongue in disapproval and shook his head. “Ain’t very efficient of ya.” The shrew slid the knife under the helpless weasel’s neck and held it, letting a trickle of bloodstain the dagger. The weasel made no sound, still knocked out from Patchouli’s blow to his head. Worble grinned as he looked at Patchouli, awaiting an answer. “Wot do ya say mate, let’s stow th’ gabbin’ an’ start retributin’.”

    “But he’s helpless an’ can’t even defend himself,” argued Pascal, a look of anger on the hedgehog’s face. He turned to Patchouli and the others and pleaded. “I can’t stands fer that kind of behavior. ”

    Some of the slaves gasped at Worble’s blood thirst. While no one particularly cared for the dumb corsair, he had been harmless up to this point, and his failure to stay guard had bought the slaves their escape. However, he was still a corsair, part of the crew that had enslaved them all up until this point. The weasel’s life hung in Patchouli’s paws.

    ((Note: Choice time, does Patchouli let Worble kill Peg Jed, does he step in and kill the weasel himself, or does Patchouli spare the corsair? You can let the answer play out in your turn before starting the mission to get weapons.))
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

  9. #24
    Dibbun Patchouli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    ((Welcome back! How was your trip?

    I feel bad for Peg Jed, so I won't let Worble kill him.))

    "Our numbers will do just fine, wot," commented Patchouli, nodding at the beasts who came forward to stand beside him. His gaze shifted from Brackle to Cale, Yarly, and last Furlough. "Though, a young'un such as yourself shouldn't be here, slayin' other beasts," Patchouli sighed, a flicker of regret passing quickly from his eyes.

    However, there was no time to brood. "Right, then, wot. The five of us will charge 'em. Anybeast who doesn't want to take part can stay down here - better you don't get mixed up in the fight. We'll come down to notify you once the coast is clear."

    A snicker behind the group caught their attentions. It was Worble, holding Peg Jed under his knife. The pitiful sight of the intoxicated vermin disgusted Patchouli, but Pascal helped to sway the hare's opinion. Patchouli shook his head at Worble. "No, ol' chap. This useless lump was the reason we escaped after all, wot wot." He walked over and prodded the weasel. Peg Jed was still out cold. "Not t'mention some bally beast of his calibre doesn't function much anyways. As long as I've been here, he's never been assigned to capture others or to take part in raids, wot. I agree with Pascal - we should spare his miserable life. T'won't be retribution if you kill this one, wot wot!"

    Worble's expression turned to one of rage and anger. "Ha! All vermin are th'same! Murderin' thieves and cowards! This'un's ain't any different!" he sputtered angrily, raising the knife to plunge it into the helpless weasel's exposed throat.

    "Hmm. What about this then?" Patchouli relieved Worble of Peg Jed, tossed him onto the nearest row, and chained him to the oar. "I say chap, I betcha Ironteeth won't be too happy to see all of us gone 'cause the weasel slept on duty, wot. Tell you what, why don't we let the marten deal with 'im? Better than to get your own paws dirty, eh?"

    Worble paused for a second, processing what Patchouli just said. He nodded, a slow smile spreading across his lips. The knife was tucked safely back into his belt. "Guess yer right, hare. Ohoho, that Ironteeth ain't gonna take it easy on 'im. 'E's a goner fer shirkin' 'is duty."

    Pascal seemed to blanch at the idea.

    Patchouli sneaked a sly wink at the sympathetic hedgehog, making sure it wasn't noticed by Worble. "Right you are, jolly chap!" The hare pat Worble on the back, and leaned over him. "You'll have tons of opportunities for retribution, eh wot." He whispered to Worble, and slipped out the shrew's dagger. Worble didn't notice; he was too busy chuckling darkly to himself and imagining all the things he would do to the seascum.

    "Ahem, stand t'attention now! Brackle, Cale, Yarly, Furlough, and Worble," Patchouli nodded to each of them. "We'll take care of the vermin in the mess hall, wot. For anybeast who doesn't want to take part, stay here! Oh, also, we need one of 'em alive for information, so don't you all go developing bloodwrath on me." He paced around the slaves, and handed Pascal the dagger out of Worble's sight. The hare tilted his head in the direction of the chained Peg Jed.

    Pascal understood perfectly. He would leave the dagger somewhere accessible to Peg Jed. The weasel would have his chance to escape by picking the lock. Patchouli was sure Peg Jed wouldn't even attempt to locate Ironteeth and report the incident. The cowardly weasel was too drunk, but not stupid enough to not know of the repercussions of his failure.

    "Right, all clear, wot?" Patchouli confirmed. At the nods from everybeast, he turned without hesitation and bolted up the stairs connected to the mess hall. "Chaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrggeee!"

    "What was that?" Kerg stood up, alarmed at the pounding of footpaws against the wooden staircase. The rest of the guards followed suit. The stoat drew his cutlass and walked to the staircase, only to be met with a full-body tackle. He fell back against the table as the small group of slaves rushed in.

    "Eulaliiaaaa! Give 'em blood an' vinegar!!" Patchouli was on the stoat in an instant, battering him with strong blows. Panicked, Kerg tried to shield himself with the cutlass. Patchouli only disregarded the sharp edge of the weapon. He grabbed Kerg's paw and yanked the cutlass out of the stoat's grip.

    Surprised yells and battle cries echoed around the room, as all the other slaves had each taken an opponent, and were all caught up in the excitement of their escape.

    Patchouli held the cutlass to Kerg's neck. "Tell me, stoat! What do you know of Ironteeth's plans, wot?"

    "Ahh! Spare me! I'll tell yer everythin'!" Kerg pleaded, trying to shield himself.

  10. #25
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    ((It went well, thanks for asking! Left the US for the first time and visited Ireland and Scotland. Got some great visual ideas for where to take the RP from it for the northlands. Hope school is going well for you, too!

    You can have Patchouli finish off Olf the fox in your turn if you wish and save Yarly. He’s closer to that fight than where Furlough is at. I’ll wrap up his fight on my next turn.))

    Furlough snickered to himself as he observed Patchouli expertly disarm the situation with Worble and Peg Jed. As much as he hated all of the corsairs, the weasel had been so terrible at his job that the otter suspected the only way the drunkard could hurt some beast was on accident, other than the weasel’s putrid breath. Furl hid his smirk as Worble wandered off towards a corner rubbing his paws together, thinking of all the terrible things he’d do to the dying corsairs as they begged for death. In the eyes of all in attendance, their respect for Patchouli grew exponentially at that moment with his wisdom. Pascal, too, and the hedgehog resolved to let the hare take command of everything.

    The otter snapped back to alertness as Patchouli slid back into his old position as Colonel, calling the volunteers to attention. Furlough stood straight, trying to look as intimidating as he could, though he could feel his heart beat out of his chest. The mood in the galley shifted in an instant, changing from jubilation to the utmost seriousness. All knew that the next few minutes would determine their overall fate, and none of them wanted to let the other slaves down.

    The four former oar slaves had to be a sad sight to Patchouli compared to the normal cropping of eager Long Patrol recruits he would’ve been used to. Each of the recruits were in different states of emaciation or injury. Cale looked too beaten and skinny to be amongst the fighters, but back in his younger days, he had been a fighter, once an orphan coming straight from the fabled Redwall Abbey. He had almost become Abbey Warrior, ceding the title to his best friend from his dibbun years. Leaving the Abbey to seek adventure with his bride Maydine, the two were attacked by the vermin crew. Cale sacrificed his freedom to let his beloved escape. Cale desperately wished to see her once again and continue the life that had been so tragically stolen from him.

    Brackle was just a few seasons older than Furl and Twezel, having been taken prisoner when two seasons ago Captain Ironteeth’s pressing gang ambushed him and his fellow shrews on a simple rowing excursion by his father Log-a-log, who had remained at camp. Of the few shrews that remained alive on the Bloodrine, none were in the condition that he was to fight the remaining vermin. There was Worble, but that grump of a shrew came from a rougher tribe Brackle had only heard of from tales his father told him. Feeling as though it was his responsibility to stand up for his few remaining shrew crew, the now adult Brackle was ready to take action, perhaps the second best fighter amongst the slaves.

    Yarly, much like the others, had just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. The water vole had been a rover and rascal in the prime of his youth when he was taken by Captain Ironteeth’s crew one night as he slept under the stars. The jovial vole had lost his humor through the cruel lessons of Wharll’s whiptail, as well as losing two rowing partners. Unlike Patchouli or Brackle, he hadn’t been as successful keeping his partner, Mudsil, alive through any amount of encouragement. The vole tightened his fists in anger, ready to deal out justice for the seasons of feeling helpless as others died around him.

    Furlough took in Patchouli’s orders like an eager recruit. He wasn’t sure what bloodwrath was, but it didn’t sound pleasant. He took mental note to control himself and make sure one of the vermin stayed alive.

    Patchouli charged headlong up the stairs to battle, and the rag tag group of unprepared warriors followed along, each clinging onto their reasons for joining the fight. The other slaves silently wished the warriors success as they climbed up the creaky wooden steps. As Furl was the last to follow, he made one last look. Both Twezel and Pascal nodded to him, wishing him well, though both had their doubts they’d see the lad return alive. The last thing Furl heard was Worble mutter aloud, wondering where his dagger went. Taking a deep breath, Furl gritted his teeth and ran headlong to his fate.

    The corsairs in the mess hall were completely caught by surprise as five enraged galley slaves stormed the stairs. Leaving to see what the commotion was, Kerg found himself in the unpleasant company of an experienced Long Patrol hare. The stoat was swiftly subdued by the hare’s attacks, showing him what Patchouli could do when not in a dazed and outnumbered situation.

    Iblez the ermine found himself dueling with Brackle, proud son of Log-a-log. The ermine had just enough time to pull out his cutlass out when the shrew was on him in a flash. Brackle grabbed the ermine’s sword arm and took him down onto the ship’s floor. As Iblez hit the ground, he felt a snap in his arm and howled in agony.

    “Gah, gerrof me ye-,” growled Iblez through gritted fangs. Before he could finish, he felt his own blade cut through him into his back. The ermine corsair let out a throaty cry before his eyes stared blank and lifeless on the ground, never to rise again.

    Yarly and Cale both eyed the large fox Olf and nodded to each other. This one would take more than one slave to finish off, and the two worked together to bring the hulking drummer down.

    “Ready mate?” asked Yarly with a hint of his old swagger.

    “Aye, let’s take this one down to size,” agreed Cale with a grimace.

    Olf grunted in surprise as Yarly hit high, while Cale took him down at the knees. The fox hit the ground and grunted in pain as the vole and mouse wailed on him with their fists. Stunned, the fox reached down to his only weapon he had on him. Since the fox never left on excursions with the crew, he never felt the need to carry a blade. However, the fox had his two heavy drumsticks that he always kept by his side.

    Taking hold of his sticks on the side with padding, the burly Olf used his musical tool as two savage clubs, and began to defend himself. With a swift jab, he hit Yarly hard into the breadbasket, knocking the wind out of the vole. Olf then swung hard and knocked Yarly upside the head with his right stick, sending the vole sprawling to the ground. The fox then used his legs to shake off Cale, dislodging the mouse from his lower section. Gripping his clubs tight, he began beating Cale like he was a mouse sized drum. First he hit the mouse hard in his right arm, followed by a swift strike to the collarbone. Cale reeled back in pain as Olf found his footing once again.

    Olf loomed over Cale and began hitting the unlucky mouse all over with his sticks. First, Olf aimed for Cale’s stomach, followed by beating a drum rhythm hard into Cale’s head. The poor mouse was knocked senseless on his feet, before Olf hit the mouse hard in the back of the head with both clubs, sending Cale cracking headfirst into the mess hall wall. Cale crumpled into the side of the wall, barely breathing at all. Olf then turned his attention to Yarly, as the vole finally regained the wind in his lungs.

    “Ya made yer last mistake vole,” bellowed Olf, eyes cold with hatred as he walked slowly to the vole. Yarly stood up and readied himself, though his legs shook as he looked at his injured mouse friend.
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

  11. #26
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    ((Had to split this up due to post length.))

    Welts yowled in pain as Furlough tackled the weasel in the midsection, sending the two tumbling to the floor. While Furlough was young, he was almost fully grown, and the lanky otter would prove to be a formidable foe for the corsair. The weasel grasped for his twin daggers, but he had fallen on the hilt of one of them, and the spry otter had snatched the second one from his belt. Furlough held the dagger high, staring at his opponent dead in the eyes. Yet at that moment, the inexperienced otter hesitated as his eyes grew wide in fear. He had never taken a life before, and at that moment, the woodlander didn’t know if he could follow through with his task. Welts eyes narrowed, as the realization of who his opponent was dawned on him.

    “Yew, yer th’ brat I captured wit’ Hydle,” barked Welts. Taking advantage of Furl’s weakness, the weasel kicked the otter hard off of him, sending Furl back into the ship’s rails. Welts stood up, grabbing the other dagger from it’s scabbard and drew it as he licked his lips. “I’d curse th’ day I wuz born before I let a shrimp like yew slay me.”

    Cursing his hesitation, Furl stood up and readied himself, holding the blade before him. “Yew were the one who stole me from my holt?” growled Furlough, eyes furrowing at the weasel. “Ye’ll more’n curse yer birth when I’m through with ya.”

    The two paced each other as the other groups continued their fighting, eyes locked on each other. Welts snickered at Furl, knowing that he was getting under the inexperienced otter’s skin.

    “Aye, I took ya, though Hydle wuz th’ one ta conk yer noggin’,” chuckled Welts. “Though if I did it, I woulda bashed yer brains in, riverdog.”

    “I won’t let ya enslave another beast, ye can take that promise to hellgates,” snapped Furlough. Furl swung the blade at the weasel, but the corsair was ready and swiftly dodged the attack. Welts took the moment to slap Furl upside the head with his open paw, embarrassing the otter as Furl stumbled forward a few steps. Furl shook his head and returned to a fighting stance as the weasel twirled his blade in his paw.

    “I’ll make ya a deal, whelp,” mocked Welts with a grin. “Yew drop m’ blade to th’ floor and waltz right backs down to th’ galley and back where ya wuz. Yer nothin’ buts a slave, an’ a slave is all yew’ll ever be. I’ll see ta that.”

    Furl growled, bits of spittle flying from his mouth as he yelled at the weasel. “I ain’t a whelp or a slave!” cried Furlough. “Th’ name’s Furlough Scalloway of Holt Sandybar, an’ I’m th’ beast that’ll slay yew an’ yer partner for enslavin’ me!”

    Welts charged at Furlough and swung with the blade. Furlough was inexperienced fighting with a dagger, but the otter managed to parry the attack and swing at the surprised weasel, gashing him in the left shoulder. The weasel howled in pain, and responded with a swipe at Furlough’s face. Furl jumped back, but the blade left a cut underneath the otter’s left cheek. Furlough wiped his left paw over the cut and saw it was wet with his own blood. Furl and Welts locked eyes once again and circled each other.

    “Hurts, don’t it?” snarked Welts as he padded his wound with his coat. “It’ll feel worse when I plunge me blade in yer chest.”

    Both combatants knew the fight would only end with one of them dead on the ground. Brackle had finished wiping his cutlass clean with Iblez’s shirt when he saw the two pacing each other.

    “Hold on Furl, I’m comin’,” cried Brackle, but Furl drew a paw up, stopping the shrew.

    “No mate, I’m seein’ this to th’ end,” grunted Furlough, his eyes misting to a shade of red. Furlough had never felt so much hatred towards a beast as he had with this one, and he felt a strange state come over him, almost like a trance. As Furl’s chest heaved in breaths, the otter readied for his next attack. Words failing him except one, the otter lunged towards Welts as the weasel raised his dagger in deadly reply.

    “Eulaliaaaaa!” shouted Furlough as he went in for his strike. The otter had heard Patchouli yell it in battle, and for some reason, the word gave him newfound strength to finish the fight in his thirst for vengeance. Brackle could only watch as the two went in for their final dance.

    ((On a side note: Furl’s only in a bloodwrath state due to the emotion in this battle. It won’t happen for every battle in the future, but I felt it was appropriate for him with this one.))
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

  12. #27
    Dibbun Patchouli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    ((Nice! Do you travel much?

    I'm doing ok in school. Trying to keep up the good habits.

    Also, nooooo Cale D)

    "Right then, scum! I'll spare ya. But you'd better not let me down, or-!" Patchouli hissed at Kerg, motioning the cutlass across his throat.

    Kerg cowered from the hare, whimpering. He had gotten the message. "Yaarrgh! I'll talk! On me oath I will!"

    The sudden piercing cry of the badgers and Long Patrol hares caught Patchouli's attention. He whipped around to find Cale and Yarly badly being overtaken by the sturdy Olf. Cale was slumped against the wall, not moving, while the fox was advancing on the helpless Yarly. Patchouli couldn't let his friends just die, after all they've been through together. Shoving Kerg aside, he charged Olf, roaring his battlecry. "Eulaaaaaayyyy!"

    Despite the size of the big fox, he was quick and agile. With lightning quick reflexes, he raised a drumstick, blocking Patchouli's attempted slash. He swung the drumstick in his other paw, aiming for Patchouli's head. Patchouli hop-skipped back and slashed at the opening the momentum of the fox's swing produced. Olf howled in pain as a spray of blood spilled from his upper arm. Without giving the fox any time to recover, Patchouli thrust the cutlass. Olf dodged aside, but not quick enough as the weapon's tip buried itself in the fox's side.

    "Wot's the matter, scum?" Patchouli taunted him, withdrawing the blade. "A big oaf like you can't face a real warrior? Hah! You're all the same!"

    Olf backed off, eyes darting from side to side seeking a possible chance of escape. He was panting and raw fear was beginning to cloud his senses.

    The fox had no chance of winning against a trained senior officer in close ranged fighting, and he knew it. He wasn't in the dark about Patchouli's background. Panting, he tried a new tactic. He threw himself in a reckless charge, baiting Patchouli to raise his sabre to parry or counterattack. But the sly fox stopped short and threw the the two drumsticks at Patchouli with all his might, then turned tail and ran. One of the sticks struck Patchouli in the stomach, and the other was deflected harmlessly off the blade. Patchouli lost his breath for a single second, pain bursting where the the stick had struck his stomach.

    Olf was running for his life. But nobeast could best a Long Patrol hare in speed, and even with Patchouli's delay, he was up and chasing the fox. Olf chanced a look back. A single scream was the last sound the fox would ever make, as the tip of a cutlass emerged from out of his middle.

    Kerg had thought himself lucky as Patchouli was temporarily drawn away. He was edging away towards the door leading out of the mess hall, hoping for a quick escape. But Olf and Patchouli shot past him, and unfortunately, Olf was slain right by the entrance.

    "You won't be able to cause any more grief t'goodbeasts now, scum!" Patchouli turned around, noticing Kerg. "Plannin' to escape, eh stoat? Well, you're outta luck, wot. Even if you run, there's nobeast out there that can best a Long Patrol hare!" With the cutlass, Patchouli menaced Kerg back to where Yarly was nursing Cale. The vole was cradling Cale's head and sobbing.

    "Cale! Please don't die, friend! After all we've been through-" Yarly broke off, weeping.

    Patchouli hurried to the rest of the assembled oarslaves, trusting Kerg not to run. Even if the stoat did, Patchouli would be able to drag him back. "Twezel, m'gel! Your assistance is required. Make haste! Cale's badly hurt, wot!"

    Twezel, and the rest of the oarslaves followed Patchouli up the stairs. The hare wasn't a healer, and he could only watch helplessly as Twezel assessed Cale, with Yarly sobbing and clasping the mouse's paw.

  13. #28
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    ((I don't get to travel all that much. That trip was actually the first time I've left the states, so it was a new experience for me.

    And good on you for trying to keep good habits. It's not easy, had a hard time with it myself. And yes, poor Cale .

    Working on the second part now, and it should be up in a bit tonight. Just wanted to have something up for you to read in the meantime.))

    Furlough dove at Welts headlong with teeth barred as blood trickled from the wound the weasel had inflicted upon him. For all the otter knew, he and Welts were the only two beasts remaining on the deck of the ship. He vaguely heard Brackle call out to him, but the voices around him were muffled and faded. All that mattered was that this weasel corsair meet his end here and now.

    Welts fell over himself trying to dodge the attacks the otter swung at him, each one getting closer to their intended target. The weasel slaver wasn’t used to fighting fair battles, instead relying on ambushes and traps to quickly subdue his unsuspecting prey. The longer the fight went on, the less in favor it went to the crafty weasel. In the corner of his eye, Welts couldn’t help but notice the fallen bodies of Iblez and Olf. How could a bunch of weak and starved oarslaves defeat experienced killers in the employ of the savage Captain Ironteeth? Welts cursed the day he and Hydle spotted the brat on that sandy bank two weeks ago.

    Welts locked his blade with Furl’s, each trying to overpower the other. Trying intimidation, Welts bore his fangs and growled at the young slave, but the look Furl gave back made him swallow hard. Furl’s face was of a fearless warrior who had cornered a long sought tormentor, ready to deal out justice. Welts’ back shuttered before spying an opening, and rammed Furl’s head with a savage head-butt. Using this chance, the weasel raised his dagger, ready to plunge it in his opponent’s exposed chest. Furl reeled back, but to Welt’s dismay, the berserker otter felt no pain in his frenzy, and swung his dagger in response, knocking the weasel’s arm out of the way before launching on him with a full body tackle. The two plummeted to the wooden floor as Furl’s blade plunged downwards.

    Welts landed hard on the deck, the air knocked completely out of his lungs. His chest hurt, but the pain wasn’t from the fall, but rather of something very sharp sticking inside of it. The weasel tried lifting himself up, but Furl shoved it back down with a blood stained paw, and the otter forcefully ripped the weasel’s other blade from his paw. Welts cried out in pain as the world spun around him. He was done for, he could tell by the blade Furl had locked between his ribs. Furlough heaved in oxygen as he glared wild eyed in the face of his dying opponent. The otter slammed Welt’s dagger out of the weasel’s reach, not that it mattered anymore. Using his free paw, Furlough grabbed the weasel’s coat and shook the dying corsair as he yelled in his face.

    “Told ya I’d never let ye enslave another beast,” spat Furl, still gripped by the adrenalin of battle. Welts groaned as he felt his life seeping from the open, mortal wound. While his thoughts clouded over, he still had the presence of mind to sneer at his hated opponent and leave one parting shot. Welts’ eyes rolled, glancing at Furl’s blood stained paws before looking at the otter dead in the eyes.

    “Heh, ye’ve got blood on yer paws now,” mocked Welts between haggard breaths. “Who’d let a murderer like yew back home now?”
    Welts let out a hoarse, wheezy laugh as Furlough slipped from his trancelike state, the full comprehension of what he had done dawning on him. Furl’s head moved downward towards his right paw, which was still on the dagger buried deep in Welts’ ribs. The lad released his grip on the blade hilt and went slack jawed at the sight of his doing.

    “I-I,” stuttered Furlough before trailing off. The weasel let out a loud gasp, causing Furl to look back at his dying captor’s face. Satisfied with rattling the oarslave one last time, the corner of his mouth twisted to a slight smile.

    “We ain’t so diff’rent now mate,” chuckled Welts, before sputtering and choking out his final breath. The weasel died, with his lifeless eyes still staring into Furl’s now watering eyes.

    Brackle bounded towards Furlough and gave the otter a strong pat on the back. The shrew laughed as he helped the shaken lad off of the ground. Brackle had spent the entire battle keeping an eye on Furlough, making sure the otter didn’t get himself killed at the paws of Welts.

    “Ya did it mate, I didn’t know if ya could, but ye handled yerself well in a scrap,” congratulated Brackle. “Got nervous fer a few moments, but yer alive!” Yet as Brackle took a good look at Furlough, he noticed the otter staring off a bit, still in shock from the fight.

    “I killed him,” muttered Furlough in a quiet voice. “Murdered him with his own weapon.”

    Brackle shifted his expression from joy to concern for his friend. The shrew hadn’t meant to upset the otter, and Brackle tried salving the pain the confused lad was sorting through.

    “Ya did the right thing Furl,” explained Brackle as sensitively as he could given the circumstances. “If ya hadn’t stopped him, ye’d be the one lyin’ there, an’ he might’ve gone on to slay more of us. No beast wants to kill, but sometimes there ain’t no other w-.”

    Before Brackle could finish, in the corner of his eye he spotted a shadow dart straight for the bow of the Bloodrine. Brackle grabbed his cutlass and charged straight for the creature. The shadow was the rat night watchbeast. He had been on patrol when the fight first broke out, but froze and hid when he saw the ferocity of the battle. The sea rat wasted no time and dove overboard and into the water with a splash. Brackle reached the bow and prepared to dive after the rat when he spied the corsair reach the beach and run headlong towards inland, presumably on the path in the direction Captain Ironteeth and his crew went.

    “We got trouble mates,” shouted Brackle, waving his cutlass towards the others to get their attention. “A sea rat fled to shore an-, Cale?”

    Brackle ran to the other side of the deck, passing Furlough as the stunned otter continued staring at no place in particular. In the heat of the battle, Brackle hadn’t noticed the outcome between Cale, Yarly, and Olf. Patchouli was calling for Twezel and the others to come while keeping Kerg in place. Brackle took off his bandana and submerged it in water, then placed it on the severely injured mouse’s head.

    “Come on Cale, ya can’t die on us now,” cried Brackle. The shrew put a comforting paw on Yarly’s shoulder as the vole sobbed uncontrollably. Despite the pain Brackle felt, he still couldn’t let his sorrow get in the way of his duty. “Patchouli, a sea rat managed to flee overboard. Don’t know how much time we have before reinforcements arrive.” Plans would need to be settled quickly before that could happen.
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

  14. #29
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    ((Part two))

    Down below in the galley, Twezel, Pascal, and the remaining slaves waited with bated breath as they heard the sounds of battle rage above them. Unaware of who was winning or losing, Pascal moved himself towards the stairs and prepared himself to defend the others should a corsair make their way down to them. While the hedgehog abhorred battle, he deeply cared for the other slaves, and would make sure none of them were hurt in the process. After what seemed like hours, the movement lulled, and the slaves looked at each other with worried expressions.

    “Do ya think they won?”
    “Hope so, I don’t wanna spend another moment down ‘ere.”

    The quiet banter broke when Patchouli’s cry thundered down to the beasts below, calling for Twezel’s assistance. The slaves looked hopeful, as it sounded like they were the victors, but still the call was ominous. Twezel steeled her resolve, calling two young shrews to her assistance as the three and Pascal made their way to the deck. Upon reaching the deck, the non-combatants were relieved to see the band of resistance fighters were indeed successful, but not without cost. Twezel’s eyes immediately zeroed in on Cale’s slumped body against the wall. Though a shy creature, once her services were needed, the quiet squirrel surprised everyone by taking charge of the situation.

    “Driz, Kaleb, you two help Brackle take Cale somewhere we can let him lie down flat,” ordered Twezel, motioning the two shrews to Cale. “Keep him as flat as possible, an’ don’t jostle his neck.”

    “Aye marm,” they answered, and rushed to the mouse’s aid. Brackle, Driz, and Kaleb lifted Cale’s clumped body up from the ground. Yarly had enough sense to stand up and lead the way, finding Captain Ironteeth’s quarters, and held the door open as the three carried Cale inside. Twezel darted in and out of rooms until she found the sick bay, and using a cloth satchel, she grabbed the appropriate healing items and made haste to her patient.

    Inside the captain’s quarters, the three shrews placed Cale on Ironteeth’s grand bed, making him as comfortable as possible. The mouse moved here and there, all the while muttering to himself in an inaudible voice. Twezel barged in, and fought her way through the group of combatants that had made their way in the room.

    “There’s too many beasts in here,” observed the healer squirrel. “Driz, you stay with me. Kaleb, stay by the door in case I need you to get me more items from the sick bay. Everyone else ou-.” Seeing the mournful expression on Yarly’s face, Twezel knew she couldn’t just kick the vole out. “Yarly, you can stay, but boil that pot of water in the corner for me. We’ll need it.”

    Yarly nodded dumbly and went to work on the task, thankful he could remain by his ally’s side in his time of need. Striking a match, the vole went to work on his task, letting the mindless work distract him from his sorrow. As he did so, Twezel began her work. She put on a brave face, but inside she knew there was little she could do for him. Cuts and wounds were one thing, but head injuries were another. She knew the best she could do was make Cale as comfortable as possible before he most likely passed to the Dark Forest.

    Outside the others began hashing out the next part of the escape. With a group of corsairs most likely heading back to quell the rebellion sometime in the future, their plans would have to change a bit for the ones heading to Salamandastron. As they planned, a few of the free slaves led captured Kerg back down to the galley to place him in chains until he could be questioned.

    Meanwhile, Furlough wandered the deck alone, lost in a daze. His cheek still bled from his wound, but the otter didn’t notice it, lost in his thoughts. The otter walked over to the starboard side of the ship, which faced the coast of the northern lands, and gazed into the water. He could barely make out the shadow of his reflection in the moonlight amongst the lapping waves. Patchouli had been correct that the battle would take its toll on the young beast.

    As Furl stared out, he knew he was no longer the youthful, carefree beast from two weeks ago. His brief life as a slave had seen to that. But the scarred otter had taken part in skirmish, even slaying one of his captors in the process. Whether he was ready for it or not, Furlough Scalloway was now an adult warrior, baptized in blood and battle.

    “You don’t look so good lad,” a voice spoke behind him. Furl turned his head and found Pascal standing beside him, giving him an understanding look. “Battle takes its toll on everyone, even the victors.”

    Furlough said nothing, only drooping his head as he took another look at the dead body of Welts, eyes staring at the night sky. Pascal took a look at the dead weasel before turning back to Furlough.

    “Killin’ ‘im don’t make ya a bad beast,” assured Pascal. “Beasts needed protectin’ an’ tha’s wot ya did. The difference between you an’ a beast like him is ya don’t take pleasure in doin’ it. A beast like ‘im? Well, he wouldn’t give it a second thought.”

    Furl nodded slowly before stooping down, removing the dagger from Welts’ chest, and cleaned it off. Wordlessly, Furl removed the hilt from Welts’ belt and placed it on his own, sticking the dagger inside. Pascal placed a paw on Furl’s shoulder and motioned him towards the sick bay.

    “Come on lad, let’s get ya fixed up,” suggested Pascal, urging the dazed otter forward. “I thinks ya should head to th’ badger’s mountain with us instead of goin’ on with Patchouli. Might be fer th’ best, an’ we’ll get ya home after that.”

    “I couldn’t stop myself,” blurted Furl, stopping the two in their tracks. “In the heat of battle I lost meself an’ killed him in my rage. I can’t go home. I’ve got blood on me paws. Nothin’ left fer me but the life of a warrior now.”

    With that, the sad otter strolled forward towards the sick bay. Pascal shook his head, knowing full well the lad would never be the same after his time on the Bloodrine.
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

  15. #30
    Dibbun Patchouli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    ((You don't travel within the US either?

    I actually don't travel at all too. I only go to China for the occasional visit since all of my extended family are there.))

    Patchouli nodded to Brackle, having heard the news of the searat, before he stood aside to allow Twezel's helpers carry off Cale. The slaves had lapsed into a gloomy silence; there had been a casualty right when they had truly gained freedom. Patchouli shook his head, with a paw on his face. Apart from grief, he also felt immensely guilty, considering himself the one responsible for leading the group into battle, even though everybeast had been willing volunteers. He had never gotten used to the feeling, even during the times with the Long Patrol.

    The wave of beasts huddled around the outside of Ironteeth's cabin, as the recent fighters were already inside Ironteeth's chambers beside Cale. Everybeast moved aside as Twezel fought her way through to attend the mouse.

    Twezel commanded the crowd to disperse outside, but Patchouli could not help but slip in a whispered question. "Will he live?" The only reply he received was a mournful glance from Twezel. Even Patchouli could see that Cale was in an extremely bad shape, but even though he was expecting the worst, he was still hoping for the best. Without another word, he turned and ushered the group out.

    There were concerned murmurs coming from all around.

    "Poor Cale, 'e was a goodbeast."

    "Aye, that he was... d'ye think he'll live?"

    "Let's just 'ope fer the best, mate..."

    Patchouli interrupted the hushed discussions. "Move along now!" The hare tried to sound uplifting as he made shooing motions with his paws. "Some peace and quiet is the best way for a beast t'recover, me old mater used t'say. Besides, we need t'go ahead with the plan." As he herded the group onto the deck, he quietly noted Furlough slipping out for some solitude. Pascal followed shortly after. No doubt the young'un was troubled over the taking of a life, but it had to be done. Patchouli trusted Pascal to reason with Furlough.

    The group formed a ring on the deck, reviewing their plans. Patchouli spoke. "Young Furlough and I'll be trackin' the marten. That's already set. For every other beast, you're all free t'go, and only those who volunteered will deliver the warning to Salamandastron. The place is straight south from here, long as y'follow the coastline. But before that, make sure everybeast stocks up in the storeroom, wot!" The hare nodded towards the direction of the storeroom.

    A grizzled old hedgehog pushed Kerg forward. "Wot about this'un?"

    Patchouli eyed the stoat, who was quivering and moaning. He motioned towards the direction of the galley. "Chain 'im up. I'll need t'question the bally chap. After that, you can go get supplies too." Patchouli's dangerous glare pierced the unfortunate stoat, who withered under the intensity of the murderous look.

    The hedgehog grunted, and together with a few others, led Kerg back down to the galley.

    As everybeast dispersed, Patchouli called out Brackle, and the two held a whispered conversation.

    "Which way did the seascum go, wot?"

    Brackle pointed the way. "He abandoned ship an' fled straight north."

    "It'd be a problem if we left 'im. Brackle, can you track?"

    The shrew huffed indignantly. "Can I? Ye insultin' me, flopears?"

    Patchouli fought down a smile and pat Brackle on the shoulder. "Good. Here's what you'll do: go grab yourself a weapon and make sure the confounded seascum doesn't reach Ironthingummy!" It was probably near midnight. Patchouli guessed it had already been a few hours since Ironteeth's departure and hoped Brackle would be able to take care of the rat before the vermin reached Ironteeth. But the night's dark embrace was lucky for the freed slaves. Even if Ironteeth somehow made it back, it would be hard to track in the dark, and especially on a shore that was mainly comprised of rocks and stones. They volunteers traveling to Salamandastron should have no hindrances, even if Brackle somehow failed to subdue the rat.

    Brackle nodded and bound off, grinning to himself as he thought about all the ways he'd deal with the escaped rat.

    Patchouli sighed, and strode off to meet Pascal and Furlough. Twezel was administering to Furlough's wounds just as the lanky hare plopped himself down next to Furlough, nodding a greeting to Pascal. Cale was wrapped in bandages behind them on the centre of the huge bed.

    "You didn't do bad at all, eh wot," Patchouli started awkwardly. The tough colonel wasn't particularly good at dealing with with situations like these; the first ever slaying he did was many, many seasons ago. Dealing with vermin to him was just like another routine, like eating or bathing. "Cheer up, m'lad. You did nothin' wrong!"

    Pascal sided with Patchouli. "Aye, lad. The hare's right - 'twas either the weasel or you. Mayhap ye should consider my suggestion."

    "Suggestion?" Patchouli enquired, ears standing up in curiosity. What suggestion had the hedgehog offered to help Furlough?

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