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Okay, so I had so much fun with me fanfic about Bluestripe the Wild and got so attached to me version of Skip Rorc that I decided to do a little short-fanfic of his life. The summary is listed under the "Epilogue" of the Bluestripe story (Oi believe you'm has d'link al'eady, burr aye!), but there's nothin' wrong wi' extendin' it, wot?
"Lord Bluestripe, are you shore it's okay for me t'visit 'er?" Skipper Rorc Nightblade asked. He stood in the bedchamber of Lord Bluestripe the Wild in the mountain fortress of Salamandastron.
Bluestripe turned around, his bulk nearly knocking a candle off his bedside table. The badger lord rolled his eyes. "Rorc, ye ole scalawag, ye haven' seen yore ole mudder since ye left 'er as a babe!"
Rorc smiled. It's nice of him to speak my accent, even if 'e 'as grown int'usin' it fulltime. "But she doesn' even know I'm alive!"
"Exactly. 'S why ye need t'go see 'er! I'll be fine, I got plenny o'years lef' in me."
The otter whirled to face the door. "I'll be back within th'yeer, don'cha worry, Lord."
"Rorc." Bluestripe called softly.
The warrior turned to face the badger. "Yessir?"
"We're friends, aren't we?"
"Then call me Bluestripe. All this "Lord" business is all well and good, but, from you, Skip, well... yore my best friend. An' don' bother with all that "sir" stuff."
Rorc bowed cheekily. "Yes ma'am!"
Bluestripe growled softly, but it turned into a chuckle. "Get out'o'ere an' go find yore Ma! Before I whip yore rudder!"
Rorc stretched in the sunlight. He yawned. He missed Bluestripe, the old badger lord that was his master and companion for so many years...
"Rorc, are you up yet? Smokefoot's back on the Isle!" It was Charlotte, Rorc's frail mother.
The otter crawled out of his sleeping cavern. "I am now, Ma. Who's Smokefoot?"
The otters of Holt Southaven gasped. "Ye dunno 'oo Smokefoot t'badger is? 'Es messed up, deranged, crazy! 'Es black, wi' gray paws, s'why 'es Smokefoot. An' he's dead set on takin' our Isle!" It was Furstane, one of the otterguards of the Holt.
Rorc frowned. "Then we've gotta stop 'im!"
"Ha!" Furstane snorted. "Stop a men'ally messed-up stripedawg, us, a tiny likkle Holt? Ye muss be crazy, Rorc me mate!"
Rorc Nightblade groaned. I have to stop Smokefoot. But... how?
Furstane patted the warrior's back sympathetically. "Mayhaps this is the Dark Forest's will, fer us t'be captured like this..."
Rorc frowned and shook his head slowly. "No, Furstane matey, I don't think... I don't think that's it. I'm goin' fer a likkle walk aroun' the Isle, 'kay?"
Charlotte, who had seen the whole thing, nodded quickly. "I think that'd be good fer ye, Rorc."
Rorc first went through the forests, following the babbling stream that ran through his Holt, dodging all the trees. He became lost in the fragrance of the daylilies that grew on Southaven Isle, and soon forgot all life as he crouched by the pool.
Suddenly, the atmosphere was shattered by screams. "Rorc! Rorc! Come quickly, Rorc! Rorc Nightblade, cloudsteeth, where are ye?"
Rorc stood up and saw Furstane's shiny head bobbing towards him. "Fur! I'm 'ere!"
Furstane ran threw a few leafy shrubs to get to Rorc. "Rorc, I'm sorry... twas nothin' anyone could do... it's Charlotte. She fell, an'... I think she... died."
Rorc stared at the otter. He stared back for a second, the looked everywhere but at Rorc.
Eventually the old warrior groaned and whispered, "Take me to her, Fur."
Rorc went into the Holt cave, past the groups of whispering otters. In the back, there was a motionless shape.
"Charlotte?" He whispered.
The shape moved slightly. "Rorc." she rasped.
Rorc knelt by his mother. "Charlotte! Yore alive!"
"Barely. Listen t'me. Yore Skipper of the 'Olt, now. You 'ave t'save us... from... Smokefoot..." Charlotte began to pant.
Rorc wept over her body. "Charlotte, mum, ye don' have t'die!"
She smiled, or seemed to smile. "I'm so... proud... of ye... Rorc... Nightblaaaaadee." Her words trailed off, and she gave one last breath, then lay still.
"MOTHER!" Rorc cried, burying his face in her fur. It was cold as ice to the otter warrior. "No! Mother! You don' have to die! You don' have to die! MOTHER!!"
"Skipper Rorc, sir..." Starfur, now an old hare, addressed the visiting otter. "His Lordship is asking fer ye."
Rorc closed his eyes slowly, then opened them slowly. The last time someone 'asked fer me', they ended up dead. Rest in peace, Mum. But please don' let Bluestripe die! "Okay." he breathed out.
Following Starfur through the halls of Salamandastron, Rorc marveled at the intricate work that Saerina had done on the fortress. "Rest in peace, Saer!" Rorc exclaimed.
Starfur smiled sadly. "I al'ahs say t'same thing, Rorc. I miss ever'one so much!"
"Hmm." Rorc didn't know how else to reply.
Opening the grand door to Bluestripe's chamber, Starfur curtsied, and shut the door behind Rorc.
"Rorc? Is that you?" Bluestripe boomed hoarsely.
"Yeah, t's me." Rorc approached his friend, who was lying in bed. "Wow, are you in bed, Blue?"
He laughed, and it ended in a cough. "Yah." Then he sobered up. "Rorc, I dun't need a seer t'tell me I'm dyin'. This cough... weall, I'll likely be dead by tomorrow mornin'! I want you to set me spirit free af'er me death."
Rorc didn't know if he was joking. "But, Blue... what'll I do wi'out'cha?"
The badger shook his head. "Yore still young. Free Southaven."
The next morning, Rorc was woken up by Starfur, who's head was peeping into his chamber. "He's dead, sir."
Rorc curled back up in shock.
Starfur shook her head, and slowly closed Rorc's chamber door again. Let him stay. He's been through a lot.
My two best friends- gone within a month of each other! Cloudsteeth, why is the Dark Forest so cruel?
The voice wailed inside of Rorc. His mind raced wildly.
I owe Bluestripe something. I owe it to him... but how to set a spirit free?
Suddenly the thought hit him. "Starslasher!" he exclaimed aloud. "I can set his restless spirit free!"
Rorc uncurled himself and stretched. He slowly and quietly opened his chamber door and tiptoed down to Bluestripe's old bedchamber. "Blue?"
Starfur looked up. She knelt by the dead badger's side. "Rorc! I..."
The otter stroked Bluestripe's fur. "Starfur, last night 'e tol' me t'set 'is spirit free. I have figured out 'ow t'do that. Where's Starslasher?"
The hare smiled through her streaming tears. "Of course! It's in the armory, behind the tallest breastplate, which you can see from the door. The sword is lying on a quiver of arrows... please bring the arrows and the crossbow to me."
"Thanks, Rorc." Starfur fitted an arrow to the crossbow. "What you do is make a fletch for the arrow in the color of the lord- in Bluestripe's case it's Blue- and shoot four arrows up, around the windows of his bedchamber. That's what we al'ahs did with Urthrun back in the Meadow wheneveh a warrior died."
Rorc gave her a look. I al'ahs forget just 'ow old she is! "Okay."
After the ceremony, and after Bluestripe's burial, Rorc had a meeting with Starfur.
"I'm takin' the canoe wi' Starslasher to another part o' Mossflower, where another warrior'll one day find it and use it for great deeds." Rorc declared as he stepped into the canoe.
Starfur could see nothing wrong with this plan. "Al'ight. Will ye return 'ere afterwards?"
Rorc sat down and looked up at the old hare. "I... I don' know. But if I don' get 'ere again by th'time autumn comes around, I'm not coming."
"Autumn? Tha's in four days!"
"I know. But it shouldn' take m'long, Star." Throwing the words over his shoulder, Rorc rowed away.
"Ah, there looks good!" Rorc exclaimed. In front of him stood a little building with a sign that read St. Ninian's in bright letters. "Full o'warriors."
He stepped inside and found a family of mice. "Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!" shrieked the mousewife.
The otter raised his eyebrows and blinked in surprise. "Excuse me, marm, is this an 'ome of a warrior?"
"Ohhhhh..." WHOMP! The mousewife swooned and fell in a dead-away faint.
"YOU KILLED HER!" screamed one of the babies. "I'M TELLING DADDY ON YOU!"
"Hey, now, she's n'dead, jus' fainted plumb out!" a mouse replied, bustling through the door and ignoring Rorc altogether.
The little mousebaby looked up at her father. "Daddy, that big otter killed Mommy!"
The dad-mouse turned and looked up at Rorc. "Don' ye think that ye've caused enough trouble 'ere, big guy?"
The otter shrugged. "Hey, can ye d'me a favor?"
"THEN DO IT AS A FAVOR TO LORD BLUESTRIPE THE WILD!" Skipper Rorc roared.
The mouse looked mildly surprised to have a screaming otter in his house. "Take it easy. What do you want?"
"I need ye t'shelter this sword until a warrior needs't." Rorc pulled Starslasher out of it's sheathe.
The mouse backed up. "Isn' that the sword Iceclaw used?"
The otter nodded. "But twas also Bluestripe's."
Shooting a look at his unconscious wife, the mouse slowly took the sword.
Rorc smiled in genuine gratitude. "My thanks, mate."
The mouse looked in wonder at the sword he held. "Nutuft at your service, pal."
As Rorc turned to leave, Nutuft called him back. "An' mate? There's a stripedawg 'round the riverbend, name o'Stonepaw. Take 'im t'yore likkle mountain, please. 'E's worn out 'is welcome 'ere."
"Yessir, thas right, I needcha to come be Lord of Salamandastron." Rorc explained.
Stonepaw blinked in surprise. This does not happen every day, an otter offering me a position as Badger Lord! "I will come."
"Good! Good! Ye'll have a good likkle army un'er ya if ya need it." Rorc smiled. If only everything was this easy!
"Hallo, marm. This is Stonepaw, he's gonna be the next badger lord!" Rorc told Starfur.
The hare raised her eyebrows. "I see."
Stonepaw stuck out a paw. "Pleased to meet you, ma'am."
Starfur took the paw tentatively. "Enchanted, Lord Stonepaw."
Rorc smiled. "See, ye get 'long fine!"
Starfur, still dazzled over meeting Stonepaw, smiled dazedly in return. "You're leaving tomorrow, Rorc?"
"Tonight, marm, for the last time."
Stonepaw gave Rorc a look. "Last time? I thought you would stay and help me!"
The otter's smile turned sad. "Stonepaw, I am a very, very old otter warrior. Plus, I am Skipper of a Holt called Holt Southaven, which is besieged by a berserk badger named Smokefoot. No offense to your badgership, but it is my duty as Skipper to... drive out this threat."
Stonepaw smiled in return, but it was sad. "I will miss you, Rorc Nightblade. And I will do my best to live up to your standards, and will try to be as good a Lord and master as Bluestripe was."
Don't try. You'll never come close, badger! thought Rorc.
"No sir, I just won a hotroot soup contest! I can't practice swordfightin' wi' ye right now, Fliprudd!" Rorc groaned. He was stretched out in the Holt cave, nursing a burned tongue.
"Rorc, are you up?" Furstane asked. "Because Smokefoot's attacking!"
The otter was up in a flash. "Where is 'e?"
"Oi'm hurr!" A loud, mole-like voice boomed out from behind Furstane.
The otter's eyes filled with fear, and he turned slowly to look behind him. Smokefoot smiled in a distorted way, making Rorc's heart twist painfully, and the badger swung a huge paw. It knocked Furstane into the cave walls with a sickening SMACK! The otter landed hard, and did not move again.
"Fliprudd, run!" Rorc screamed, as he launched himself at Smokefoot. The badger sidestepped his attack, and grabbed his rudder. Rorc hung upside down from the badger's paw, helpless.
"Yore'll make a moighty noice slave, arr!" The badger roared in Rorc's face.
Rorc spat in his face. "Never, stripedawg!"
Smokefoot's eyes darkened and he screeched, "YOU'LL DO'S AH SAY, RIVERDAWG!"
The otter wrinkled up his nose. "I say, have ye been chewin' some garlic, stripedawg? Smells like't!"
Rorc's head lolled as stars exploded in his head. The stars soon faded into blessed darkness.
That night, Rorc was chained to a mast. When he woke up, his first thought was, I have to get. out. of. here.
He began to strain at his chains. A rat came by and flicked his whip over Rorc's head. "Stop it."
Rorc slowly began to unwork his chains so he could reach his dagger. Suddenly, it was free and the chains slipped over Rorc's head. A big hare winked at him. "Go, laddie buck!"
Rorc shot him a grateful look. "Thanks, mate."
The hare smiled. "Grinsun at'cha service, wot!"
I never saw a hare tha'talked like that. Rorc realized.
"Thankee, Grinsun matey. I won' forget that in a hurry."
"Yore destined fer great things, eh. Go get 'um, chap!" Grinsun saluted and disappeared behind some rope.
Rorc slit silently into the vermin cabin. Snores raked the air.
Stupid vermin! thought Rorc as he stealthily slit the throat of a rat.
Suddenly he was aware of two shining amber eyes following him. "ATTACK!" screamed the owner of the eyes, a fox named Derthic.
Rorc was surrounded by vermin instantly. Five attacked him, and Rorc sliced three to pieces. But six replaced the fallen ones, and, as the battle continued like this, Rorc realized that his defeat was inevitable.
"HHHOOOLLLTTT SSSOOUUTTTHHHHAAAVVVVVVEENNN!!!" he screamed, and, as soon as he finished, Smokefoot appeared.
"Weall, ye're a brave 'un." he snarled.
With one cleave, Rorc fell to the deck, bleeding profusely.
Grinsun gasped. "NO!!" He had been releasing a canoe so he and Rorc could escape.
The badger let out a cry of fear as Rorc threw his dagger. It hit the badger in the leg.
He rolled around on the deck, crying. All the vermin turned to their leader and began offering things. No beast was paying attention to Rorc or Grinsun.
The hare took the dying otter aboard his canoe.
"Yes, ma'am, 'e died a warrior." Grinsun's head was bowed as he delivered Rorc's body to the rest of the Holt.
An otterwife dabbed at her eyes as she received Rorc. "Thankee kindly, Grinsun mate."
Suddenly there was a rustling in the undergrowth behind the two. Out stepped the fox Derthic.
Grinsun snarled, "What d'ye want?"
Derthic stared at the two, then rasped, "Smokefoot retreats. Southaven Isle is yours."
Then he turned and slipped back into the forest.
Grinsun bowed to the otterwife. "Congratulations on regaining your island."
"The price was too high... way too high." She sobbed.
But, to this day, legends are still told of Rorc the Warrior, and how he died for the freedom of Southaven.