Zorkaan was a beast who knew when and when not to show mercy. The mousetribes below that he had not already slaughtered and enslaved were his subjects. He let them live so they could farm their own food and give the majority to him as taxes. But Zorkaan never took more than he needed, otherwise his subjects may decide to leave his domain.
Gleeter the Chieftain and his daughter Nara pulled the pitifully filthy crop-laden cart along to the gates of Sovlergash. Zorkaan had done it all before. But now, the situation was different. So much could go wrong… But so much could go right!
Zorkaan, Crossclaw and Ajihad stood on the western battlements, surveying the mice. Boar turned to weasel. “Everything is prepared?” “It is, my Master.”
Zorkaan wriggled with delight. ”Snnnoorrrup! As you say. Ajihad, keep an eye on the gate so we may see when the slaves make their move. I will see to the mice.”
Zorkaan beckoned two boar brothers, Dorgex and Viek, to his side. As he climbed down the ladder, they already were pulling on a giant switch to open the massive gate. Zorkaan swirled a silk white cloak about him to hide his various weapons. He unlatched his crossbow from his tusks and handed them to a rat.
As the gates opened and Zorkaan strolled out, Gleeter gulped. The Chieftain and his daughter kneeled silently, never looking to the fearsome sight of Zorkaan the Unstoppable. The boar grunted with dissatisfaction. Three rotten apples, a jug of watercress, and muddied cordial. Underneath his cloak, Zorkaan drew his dagger. He leapt and slashed Nara across the face, whisker to neck.
“Snnnnnnrrrrraaarrr! Rotten apples, swamp stuff, dirt-ridden cordial! You expect me to feed an entire fortress with this despicable gruel! Bring me real vittles! Red meat, ripe strawberries, damson wine! Or next you will be in our larders! Is that clear?”
Gleeter tugged on the Boar Taggerung’s cloak, tears flowing rapidly down his cheeks. “No Sire, please, I beg of you, take my
life before hers!”
Zorkaan slapped the Chieftain. “Get off!” Then many things happened at once.
Scrachtface and the slaves bolted for the open doorway, throwing bare rocks at the guards on the parapet. Ajihad bellowed the alarm, whilst Zorkaan tackled Grewl and bore his tusks into the mole’s unprotected thighs. He heaved, and there was a sickening splutch sound and he dashed into Sovlergash. He climbed up onto the wall and received his crossbow from Tekker. “Sssnnnnrrk! Archaaaahhhhs!”
A volley of arrows loaded with sleep balm shot out to the descending cliffs. When they hit, a screen of orange smoke ensued, enveloping the senses of the slaves who were unfortunate enough not to be struck.
Zorkaan held up his fist to stop the barrage. He took aim at one single fortunate who escaped the arrows and smoke.
Scrachtface felt nothing; the shaft went straight through his spine and out the other end.
Zorkaan fastened his weapons back into place and removed his white, blood-stained cloak.
“No mercy for traitors and dissidents!”