(Hey ppl! First fan fiction; so go easy on me. Now, on with chapter one!)
Book 1 : Flagal
The Castle of Flagal stood proudly on the edge of its island, waves bounding, reaching up and falling into the side of the tall cliff. The window of the mess hall faced east, to the wildly rolling ocean; while the window balcony of the high and mighty King had a full view. The outer wall held the court yard and below the court, deep in earth, were the dark and gloomy cells; homes to prisoners. Grolwen looked out to the place he knew as home: the sea; jet black eyes were fullyalert, but they shown that the rat was clearly drunk.
He tottered over to the stairway, that lead down into the loud and busy mess hall. Vermin were either sat at the large oak tables fulling there faces or drunkenly running about, laughing. Grolwen absolutely loved this sight; his sea army happy and without a single care in world. Danger hadn't come to Flagal in seasons so the army non-regretfully let themselves with the help of meat and wine. Grolwen blenched loudly; making the entire mess hall know of his appearance. They all gave him a quick solute before returning to there grub, all except one.
Grolwen snapped his jaws while his eyes dug daggers into Huntress's back, but she didn't seem to notice. Aware that he was overdosed with wine, the King snatched a glass from a passing weasel. The weasel turned to start a scene to whoever took his drink, but realizing it was his Warlord he spun to, he backed away to find himself something else to stuff into his full mouth.
Huntress tensed up when Grolwen slammed the glass onto the oak table, but soon forgot about it. The vixen was playing with her weapon of choice: a cutlass. She pricked her finger on its tip and watched as the bead of blood soon formed. "Huntress me hearty! Here; have yourself some wine." Grolwen grabbed her paw with a swift movement, and Huntress's blood smeared onto the clear glass when Grolwen put it in her paw.
The vixen pushed away the dark red substance, "I'm in no need of thrust Cap'n; I don't require it."
"Howabout somethin' to eat?" the rat then slid a plate of roasted kittiwake next to her arm. Yet again, Huntress shoved it away. "I'm not hungry, and I have food aboard my ship."
"Then what do ya want?!" Grolwen roared with a bang of his fist.
As a quick response, Huntress stood up and her chair flew, tripping up a passing fox. "I want my fair share of the treasure!"
"Your fair share? Whatcha mean by 'your fair share'?"
"Don't start that blabbing mess Cap'n! I haven't but getting my share of treasure. You been giving these fat bullied pigs more than ever get in a season! They haven't been in tip-top shape ever since danger stop comin' our way; they've let then selves gain weight and get as fat as a kitchen mouse! I haven't gained a pound; running around the Flagal in the worst of weather just keep fit! So how come you give them more than me? I've earned what they got, and they've earned the very lil' I got!"
Everyone stopped as soon as Huntress began, and a dense silence fell. Grolwen maybe was too overdosed to hear a word she said because his answer was, "Don't worry ol'gal, you'll get more sooner or later."'
With snarl, Huntress kicked one of the tables; food flew and beast where pinned under them. She stormed out without another word to Grolwen, who started laughing uncontrollably at her violent actions. He didn't hear a word she said; the King of Flagal began his walk back up the stairs and said. "Young Huntress, always bringing joy to me heart! Harhar!"
Huntress walked down the stairs into the lower parts of Flagal, her boots clacking against the precise stonework. Flagal was silent at night; not a sound was heard, except the waves rolling outside. The vixen finally reached the very bottom of the fortress and she walked down a dark corridor. Huntress was in need of no help; she'd been here before and knew what she was looking for. Rounding a turn, she saw the bright light of an open door. Inside, the sounds of crashing and knocking were heard.
The captain walked in silently, not wanting to disturb the grumpy herbalist sitting on her knees and mumbling to herself. "No no no! Noncalet Tea herbs, regular tea herbs, blackberry seed powder, no no no! E-" the old healer stopped with a bottle of red powder and sighed, "What are you doing awake Huntress? It's midnight and you need your rest."
"But Falla," the younger vixen begged, "I need your help."
"With what?" Falla asked, getting up off her knees. She dusted herself off, the shook the dust off her gray fur. "I'm busy Huntress; I have to finish that potion for Grolwen, he requested it weeks ago! And I'm still not done!" Falla ran about the comfortably large room, looking into cabinets.
Huntress watched the old vixen. "What are you looking for?" she asked nimbly.
"Um..what am I looking for? Hmm...er...oh yes! There called Nightcloud leaves; I put them in a small red bag, but I can't seem to-" Falla looked to see Huntress holding at a small red bag. "Haha. Where did you find them Huntress?"
"Oh, in the cabinet you just looked into..." Huntress hummed. Falla rolled her eyes at the strongly built vixen. "By the way, what did you come for?"
Huntress stared deeply at the herbalist's brown eyes. "I came for guidance."
"Huntress, I've never been on a ship before, sooo I probably don't know what you are-"
"No, not guidance on a ship Falla! I mean, how can get Grolwen to actually notice me better. For what I do, so can get my fair share of everything he finds. I mean, c'mon! I'm his best captain; his Lordship said it himself. But I never get what I deserve." Falla had fallen quiet. She set down the Nightcloud leaves into a bowl and looked into it like she was studying it. "Mum...I need your help."
The old vixen turned to only daughter; the only one left of what was a family. "Huntress, you have a lot to learn. You know what? You are like your father. He wanted what you want, Grolwen to give him what he earned by right. But, in a horrible fight with Grolwen, your father died fighting for Kingship." Falla began mixing the leaves with some juices and with additional throw ins of herbs. "I suggest you take what life throws at you. I had to take in raising you myself without the help of your late father. So, keep quiet, and let nature take it's course."
Huntress had a confused look on her once whining face, but she understood it wholesomely. Just wait and let nature give you challenges that only you can take on. With a smile of confidence, Huntress walked out, leaving Falla to her work.
Falla poured the liquid into a bottle and whispered, "Such a smart child."
The morning was utterly slow at Flagal; the vermin groaned and yawned when Huntress pounded the large hollow log on the cliff side. Boom boom boom!! It rang out over the ocean with ease. Huntress kept pounding until she saw the signal that told her to cease pounding; the sight of a rat coming out of the fortress. "Quit thut bangin' Huntress! C'mon now, you hear me; stop!" the rat came running to her, and the vixen decided to play with the him.
She ran around the log, and laughing and giggling like a babe going out for a swim. "Hear now Clevid! Keep up with me, this will be your daily exercise! Haha!! Look at ya fat belly hopping as you run matey! Oh burn me ship'n'call me an woodlander, I know you aren't tried already! Get up!" Huntress tapped his bottom-end with the tip of her cutlass. Clevid yelped and fled as she chased him, cutlass first. "That's it! Run all the way to our Warlord; he wants us all!"
Grolwen had sent Huntress to the cliff so that everyone, able-bodied or not, would report to the mess hall. The one thing the sea vermin expected wasn't there; the food. The tables were empty, only thing there was a fried fish; none of them dared to charge after it with Grolwen standing beside it. The rat looked at his army; he grunted and shook his head. "Now meh lads, I wanna-"
"Yaow! Yah keep pokin' me with thut cutlass I'll have a hole throu' me bottom!" Clevind and Huntress came into the mess hall loudly, sweating heavily and panting.
"Huntress, where ya been? I only asked you to get everyone up here, not run 'round the fort!"
Regaining her breathe, she gave him a solute. "Sorr' cap'n! Only makin' sure Clevind got is exercise today!" the vixen took her place beside Grolwen, knowing what he was announcing this morning.
"Now, remember the little event that had happened between me'n'Hunter yesterday? Well, I thought about what she said and I noticed something. You all are out of shape!" he snapped, clearly upset. "Ya call ye selves sea lovin' vermin! But ya can't go a day withou' a good ol'feast to fill you bellies like a hare at a jubliee!"
Huntress laughed silently to herself. This is too good t'becomin' true! Grolwen's words left her ears as her head drifted to the window balcony. The sun was to the east and its rays of light sprayed the earth's with another day. But something caught her eye; a small boat, floating to the cliffs.
"..Huntress?" Grolwen looked over to his best captain as she began leaning out, trying to catch a better sight of the small boat. He walked to the window, finally realizing what she was focusing on. "Gludtail! Go with yeah crew to t'cliffs! Go and scout whatever that is coming ashore."
Grolwen had turned to follow, but not before patting Huntress's shoulder. "Great eyes Cap'n! I'll reward ya for this." Before she knew it, the whole mess hall was abandoned and everyone had headed to the shore line. The vixen notice someone snatched the fish during the run out to the cliffs. Huntress sat in a chair, and began to sharpen her beloved cutlass with her dagger.
"Huntress; where is everyone?" Falla came in the hall, rolling a small cart along with her. "Where's Grolwen?"
"They all ran to t'cliffs. A small boat ran comin' and Grolwen must have thought someone could be on it. I thought it was just a normal drifter."
"Drifter; yeah, it could have been. Ships and boats making there way here, only to be deserted. I just finished his potion, and I come to find this place empty. But you and your ol'sword."
Huntress got up and paced about the large room. "It's not a sword mum! It's a cutlass; got it from the first raid I was in! From a fox..." the loud noises of Grolwen coming back with the rest of the army made Falla scurry a corner of the room. There she waited.
"Bring'em in!" Grolwen snarled. Two stoats dropped a fox in the middle of the room, but he didn't seem scared at all. He look up at Grolwen with lights lit in his brown eyes. "Now, who are ya and what do ya want?" the King said hurriedly.
The fox stood up; ready and proud. "My name is Warren, sir. I came for a simple request; to join your army." the rest of the people in the hall gasped; even Huntress and Falla. No has ever come and request to join; Grolwen will usually ask. Man, was this Warren a fool. More foolish than the time a slave mouse bit Huntress on the leg; he bit the leg she kept her dagger tied to. Poor mouse.
"Haha!" Huntress made a huge mistake by laughing out loud.
Warren looked at with a look of questioning. "What's so funny vixen?"
"It's just that..hahahaha!! You came across the high s-seas to ask to join the best sea crew since Gabool the Wild!! Grolwen never let you join unless you show skill!"
"Go back to scrubbing the floor maiden!" Warren scowled out at her. Huntress's face turned to a face of complete rage.
"Excuse me Warren, but you're looking at my best cap'n on this army! The Queen of Deathbreak; my best vessel." the Warlord said with a hint of happiness. "So, if I were ya, I'll show her some respect! If ya don't, Hunter might just-" Grolwen and Falla was lost for words when Huntress came charging at Warren, so was he when she slapped him hard across the face.
Huntress's claws raked his face, leaving five small scrapes. "If ye ever again call me a maiden again, I'll teach you a lesson you'll never forget..." she whispered, pointing a claw at his face.
For a moment, Warren was speechless. Staring at the floor. Then, when Huntress let her guard down, he pounced! Their noses were just touching when he screamed curses at her and rats tried haplessly to pull him off. There was need for the rats; she kicked him hard in the gut with her boots. Warren stumbled back, air needed in his lungs.
"Harhar!!" Grolwen laughed. Both Huntress and Warren looked at him in disbelief. "I like ya Warren! Someone find this fox a room and somethin' to eat!" he looked to the fat bellied vermin leaving as well. "We'll finish the conversation tomorrow ladies!"
Huntress and Warren passed by each other, and both whispered the same thing to one other in a harsh tone: "Ya better watch your back!".
Huntress walked through the dark corridor with only a candle and its holder; she was in her night gown, a simple long burlap dress.. The small flame illuminated the hall, making Huntress's brown eyes seem even darker. Soon the candle was to no use when she saw the light of Falla's open door. She speed up her pace, and was storming into her mother's infirmary. "Mum I still can believe that he-" the vixen stopped dead in the rage. On the other side of the room was Falla, with a bowl of plant roots; but lying lazily on the infirmary bed was Warren eyes wide open and staring at her with astonishment.
Falla came to Warren with a cup, and held it out for him to drink. "You claimed your stomach had pain; so here." Warren sniffed it, he instantly refused it. "I think I'm feeling better." he said in a sickened fashion.
The old vixen gave him a look of confusion. "Better that quickly? Hmm..I think you might have something more than just simple stomach pain. Something much more dangerous." Falla felled with glee when she saw the worried look in Warren's eyes.; like going up a roller coaster with your heart pumping.
"I think I'll go and lay down." Roller caster stalled.
"B-But, you could die in your sleep!" Warren turned and mouth fell wide. Back on the ride! Huntress was enjoying this, so she leaned on the door frame and watched. "It's could be that deadly?!" he exclaimed in terror.
"Oh of course!" Falla said, arms out. "It's very bad."
"Yep. That's how my dear brotha Adden went. Sad he never sad goodbye; all he said was goodnight!" Huntress added. She walked fully into the infirmary as Warren gulped down the strange drink. His mouth bubbled up and gagged. Falla whacked his head with her spoon and scowled. "You better not throw that stuff up! It'll stick to the floor!"
Huntress dropped the candle and burst into a fit of laughter. Warren looked at the vixen and growled; the taste of the potion in his throat and mouth. "Shut up. I'm going to bed healer." the muscled fox walked out and Huntress got off the stone floor. After the giggles were out, she turned to her mother for an explanation. But instead she said, "I like him."
"Like him?! He's a jerk!" she said, her rage back on.
Falla put away to wooden cup. "C'mon Hunter! He's actually nice and kind once you get into him. He's from Mossflower Woods, not far from here."
"I'm familiar with Mossflower. Nothin' but a bunch of peace loving woodlanders; makes meh sick." Huntress said with her arms folded. It was clear she wanted to get back to other topic.
Her mother sighed. "Huntress, Warren's nice. Could probably replace that hole in ya heart..." at the small but powerful sentence, Huntress tightened up. There was a hole in her heart; once belonged to someone she loved. His name was Tenner,; a childhood friend. She grew to love him and he loved her. But Grolwen sent him on a quest...and he never returned. "You still don't think about Tenner, do you?" Falla asked.
Huntress answer was quick. "I'll never love again. I mean it." that ended the conversation. She kicked the candle holder out of her way and stormed out; the same way she came in.
Daybreak was a large vessel, the biggest and baddest of Grolwen's fleet. It was designed to take on the highest waves in the worst of weather. Black sails with a black body; it will be unseen in the night sky. The crew busied themselves buy loading vittles on the ship and lazily tending to the oar slaves. Huntress watched them by the pier, her cutlass at her side.
Her head strong crew was a total of twenty-three beasts. Fourteen of which were female, the other nine male. Second in command, another vixen named Katiness, was throwing out orders. "Make sure those chains are nice'n'tight; we don't want no more slaves breakin' loose, do we? You, get off the floor'n'get movin'! I don't give a care that your ankles are causin' you pains, get up!" Katiness gave the rat a brutal slash with her whip.
Huntress laughed and boarded Daybreak. "C'mon Dimwit, listen to Kat. Get up!" the rat finally got up, and limped away on his swollen ankle. The Queen of Daybreak turned to Katiness. "Next time, throw him over board."
"Aye!" Katiness agreed. Huntress looked over back to the pier, and her eyes caught Warren with Grolwen. Coming to the ship. She met them halfway to Daybreak.
"There ye are Hunter. Meet your newest member to the crew of Daybreak!" Huntress's and Kat's facial expressions were priceless. Warren looked disgusted. Without a word, Huntress went back to the ship, Warren following behind.
"Cap'n! Ya can't let Grolwen do this!" Kat said, walking beside her. "Warren needs to go to someone else's crew! He's not ready for what we do here-"
"Crew at alert!!" Huntress shouted; the crew lined up neatly. The Captain looked to Kat, who unwillingly said, "Aye aye." she went to her spot when Huntress turned to Warren. "Say what you want, let's them know what you want. I-Don't-Care." Huntress stood to the side, and he stepped forward.
Warren looked at everyone and merely said,"My name is Warren, I will just like to be treated with respect."
"What if none of us like ya?" someone interrupted. Warren knew who it was.
"Well isn't it ol' Bitterboots Ka-" Kat gave Warren a quick slap, making Huntress's eyebrows rise. "You stole my ship you un-honorable jerk!" she screamed.
Warren answered, rubbing his face. "I like to think that you lend me the ship. I didn't steal it.."
"In that case, where is me ol Sailwing?" Kat asked, arms folded.
"How does 'the bottom of the ocean' sound Bitterboots?" Warren said, gaining yet another slap. "Ooh I swear I will-"
It was Huntress's time to break in. "C'mon now, let's be friends. Warren, to my quarters; Kat, your quarters. Everyone, back to work!"
Warren quietly followed Huntress to her quarters. Sometime she heard him say something and laugh about it, and when she asked what he said, he'll shrug. The reached a wooden door with an a rose engraved on it; Huntress opened the door, and mentioned Warren inside. Once both foxes were inside, Warren turned to her and began first. "Look maiden, I'm not all excited about bein' apart of your crew either; alright?"
Huntress was sitting at her desk, feet on the desk. She was rocking on the legs of her chair, thinking deep and hard. "Well..you could be to some use." she said, a claw on her chin; she saw how his face lit up at the mention of work.
"Really? W-What could I do? Scrub the decks, feed the crew? Anything!" Warren was thrilled; at least he was able to become something in this army. Huntress's face suddenly lit up brighter than his.
"There is something you can do." Huntress got up and walked out of the room; Warren practically hopping behind.
"Something I could, huh?" Warren groaned. "Well, this is fantastic!" Held by two ropes tied around his waist, and with Kat laughing above him, Warren was repainting the side of the ship a fresh coat of black. Kat was the one keeping the ropes in place, while the rest of the crew laughed their hides off.
"Oye! I believe ye misse' a spot over there Warren!" a rat shouted, holding his gut and spilling wine on the ship; another whole new set of laughter burst throughout the Daybreak. Even the neighboring ships' crew was taking part in the harassment of Warren.
As Kat lowered another bucket of paint for him, she spotted Huntress walking out of her cabin, yawning. "Hunt, I believe you found out what Warren is god at!"
The vixen strolled over herself to see her new crew member on the side of the ship. Warren looked up at her with dark brown eyes and a vicious snarl. "Let me up maiden!" Warren, almost on instinct, covered his mouth; he knew what was coming for him. He watched as Huntress's whispered something to Kat, who began to laugh uncontrollably. Kat let go of the rope. Warren yelped and fell headlong into the sea.
Everyone couldn't stop laughing at the pitiful fox splashing and sploshing in the water. Warren struggled to keep his head above water; his hands coming up and grabbing at only air. Then, he disappeared below the surface. The Daybreak's crew went silent. Huntress leaned over the side of the ship, trying to find any prove he was alright. She realized what she did was wrong when she saw bubbles begin to pop at the surface.
Huntress abandoned her cutlass and hurled herself into the water; the vixen took in a gulp of air as she hit the surface. The salt stung her eyes as she searched for any sigh of Warren in the murky water; it was so murky and dark because of crews dumping expired rum and other foods. Then, she saw him. The fox was slowly sinking, and he saw her reaching for him. At first, he hesitated, then he shot out both of his paws to hers. It was obvious Huntress was a better swimmer than him, seeing she reached the surface first, towing Warren behind.
The fox took in many gulps of well needed air before turning his attention to his new captain. At first, he began growling deeply, but when she gave a snarl and snapped at him, he flattened his ears in surrender. Kat and some other members of the crew lowered ropes to them, and Warren climbed out of the water in a hurry. Once he was on the deck, a rat placed a blanket of him.
Some of the crew asked Warren if he was okay as he spit up water; even Kat. Huntress positioned herself on the railing after a ratmaid pulled her on board. "Aye, are ye alrigh' Cap'n?"
"I'm fine Dulshna." Huntress started to rub her eyes, feeling the salt burning. "Just go and..and see if Warren is okay." Huntress stormed off to her cabin, but Warren stepped in front of her. Everyone started to make a circle around them, as if for a fight. But Warren gave a big sigh, he only put a paw on her should and said, "Thanks...." then he left. He walked right off of Daybreak and back on the pier. Huntress watched and walked into her cabin without another word.