Note: You can find out more about the characters in this Fan Fiction on my User Page
It was late at night, pitch black, and raining in a thick forest south of Mossflower country, two beasts ran quickly through the forest. It was a chilly night, made colder by the steady rain and light breeze, both beasts wore cloaks their hoods up over their heads. there were shouts behind them, and they grew louder as the two travelers stopped and laid a small bundle under some wet leaves and foliage, the one that laid the bundle down took off it's hood and kneeled beside it. The creature was a young squirrelmaid, she leaned over and kissed the bundle then stayed kneeling beside it until the other beast pulled her up by the arm and whispered in a deep voice.
"Come Frill, he'll be safe there, the vermin wont find him. we need to move quickly now, come."
The squirrelmaid reluctantly followed the other beast, looking back over her shoulder, tears streaming down her face, at the place they had hid the bundle, until it was out of sight...
Book One: A Warrior In His Youth
The sun shone brightly as it slowly made it's way above the trees, a young squirrel warrior clad in a rough homespun tunic and cloak walked through the forest. He carried a small haversack over his shoulder, and also carried a strong stout spear that doubled as a walking staff. The squirrel looked up and squinted at the sun, then looked around at the trees towering over him, he stood there staring at everything around him, then shook his head, remembering why he was out roaming around the forest, he was scouting the area for any signs of survivors. There had been many reports of vermin in the area, two moons ago, there were still many search parties out for the few squirrels from the other towns and villages, that may have escaped the raiders and lived. Part of one family had been found, but they were not in very good shape, they were all exhausted from running, and the babe and eldest son took fever and ended up dieing, the daughter was still recovering, and the only one left of the little family, her parents and two younger brothers had been slain by the vermin. Trying to get his mind set on something else besides death, the squirrel listened to the birds singing their praises to the new dawn, he heard something else also, not the birds, it sounded like... A faint muffled cry, yes, that's what it was. He listened a bit longer then turned to the left and jogged towards the cry. It soon got louder and the warrior stopped beside a large birch when it suddenly stopped and scanned the forest around him carefully looking for what had made the muffled cry. He heard a slight rustling, the squirrel took a few steps foreword and listened again…There it was again, a few steps more. The squirrel examined the surrounding ground, it suddenly shifted a bit by a tree, he took a step towards it and dusted the leaves off and found a tiny dirty bundle. It wriggled as he picked it up, carefully and unwrapped it to find a squirrelbabe curled up and shivering. It scrunched up it’s face and let out a little growl that sounded more like a squeak. The squirrel warrior quickly re-wrapped the babe in the blanket and carefully set it on the ground, he took off his cloak and fashioned it into a carrying sling over one shoulder, then picked the squirrelbabe up and laid it gently into the sling. The warrior turned around and headed the opposite direction he had came, keeping up a fast pace.
Two squirrel guards stood at the entrance to a small village, both wore tan homespun tunics and firmly held a spear. They chatted quietly as they stood guard.
“Hey Kenuf, you hear ’bout the vermin goin’ on those killin’ raids the other night? I hear they did quite a bit of damage and killed many a good beast.”
“Yeah I did Lendin, I heard they got the village where Klint and Frilla lived, I hope their alright. Last time I talked to Klint, Frilla was expectin’ a young’un.”
“Young’un? Really? I hope their alright too, twould be a shame to have such young ones lost to the blade of a vermin. Hey look, here comes Lonel an’ he’s got something’ with him. Hey Lonel! What’ve ye got there?”
The young squirrel warrior Lonel came jogging up to the guards.
“Kenuf, Lendin! I’ve found a small babe, he must not be much older then a few days, I don’t know what to do with it, I can’t take care of it I don’t know how an-”
Kenuf held up his paw. “Hold up there Lonel, you won’t have to take care of it, bring it to the old healer Taleak, she’ll know how to care for it, go on now, get movin’ now.”
Lonel nodded and hurried off into the village. After Lonel was out of sight Lendin looked at Kenuf, a mixture of fear confusion and surprise written on every inch of his face.
“You don’t think that could’ve been theirs do you? Klint an’ Frilla’s?”
Kenuf looked back at Lendin with the same expression on his face. “It might be Len, I didn’t see the babe so I couldn’t tell weather or not it was…”
They both stood there staring at each other for a moment then Lendin looked down at his footpaws and Kenuf stared at his spear. Kenuf and Lendin continued their shift in silence.
Lonel jogged through the village, most of the buildings only small one to two roomed cabins with thatched roofs but there was one that was particularly smaller then the rest, he headed for this one but was stopped by a pretty young squirrel. She had brown eyes and fur, and wore a sky blue skirt a white apron over it and a blue shirt.
“Hi Lonel! What’ve you got there?” She nodded to the sling that wriggled as the babe shifted position inside.
He looked down at it then said. “It’s a, well, your not gonna believe this Teasle but ’tis a squirrelbabe…” He extracted the bundle from the sling unwrapped it and showed her the babe.
“I found him while I was out on a patrol, he was wrapped up and hid under some leaves and ferns.”
Teasle took the babe from Lonnel with a gasp and cuddled him. “Oh you poor, little one! Now who would do such a thing to a helpless little babe?”
The squirrelbabe stared up at Teasle with big brown eyes as she continued. “Who knows how long you were sitting out there on the cold hard ground being so damp and cold for so long you poor little thing! Hm, you must be hungry,”
She looked up to Lonnel and asked as she bounced the babe lightly. “What were you gonna do with him?”
Lonnel scratched the back of his head and replied. “Kenuf said I should take him to to Taleak, the Healer.”
Teasle nodded. “That’s a good idea, she’ll know what to do, would you mind if I came with you?” She reached for the rag the babe had been wrapped in and re-bundled it up.
“No I don’t mind, you want t’carry ‘im or should I?”
“I’ll carry him if you don’t mind, haven’t held one for a long time…”
She looked at the babe fondly, tears glistening in her eyes. He still remembered what had happened… Her mate had died of poisoning while out scouting with a few others, one of them poisoned his evening meal without the others knowing. The next day a squirrel from the patrol was missing, and the others found Teasles mate, propped up against a tree head lolling sickeningly to the side, he had died on his watch. The squirrels searched high and low for the one that poisoned him but never found him. It had been three seasons since the so-called accident. Then her son, who was still a babe died the following week, nobeast was sure of the exact cause of it’s death even the great healer, Taleak. Lonnel shook his head and began walking for the healers hut.
“We should hurry, don’t want to keep the babe waiting for his food.”
Teasle looked up at him and raised an eyebrow. “Hurry? Huh, wasn’t it I who just said that we should hurry and you staring off into space not making any move to hurry? I called your name but you didn't move a muscle, something wrong?”
He cocked his head to the side, and scratched it, “Really? Er, no, nothing wrong...”
She nodded and pushed past him. “Yes really, now c’mon this babes hungry!”
Two cloaked squirrels bloodied and weary, were fighting for their life on the borders of southern Mossflower country. They both fought with stave's and the occasional cutlass, or spear when they could get their paws on one. They were fighting a patrol from Klaunt the Quick’s horde, he was a large gray fox, and wore a simple black tunic under a mail vest, a broad black belt and a black narrow headband tied at the back, and he seemed to carry no weapons. He stood amid his vermin urging them on to overtake the two squirrels, but seeing as the squirrels were holding the vermin off, he stood with his paws behind him and called to his captain, quite a bit of power and authority in his voice. His Captain, a tall weasel with a tan tunic, mail vest, and helmet, ran up saluted and stood at attention.
“Deathclaw, call off my patrol, I wish to deal with these beasts personally, form a ring around them to keep them from escaping. Dismissed captain.”
The weasel saluted and ran off to do his masters biding, calling off the vermin and forming a ring around the squirrels. The two beasts stood back to back their eyes darting to and fro, watching the vermin intently, Klaunt the Quick strode through the ranks, he had shed his mail vest and walked into the ring unarmed, or so it appeared. He was armed, he was armed with deadly weapons, his quick movements and thinking had earned him his name. His knowledge, cunning, and strength they were all his weapons, his only weapons, he did not kill with a sword, or some other paw made weapon, he took lives with his bare paws. He glanced at both of the squirrels his green eyes shone of something like respect for them, also of amusement he bowed slightly then straightened up looking unbelievably calm. The one squirrel who was facing Klaunt was quite smaller then the other, it removed it’s hood… It was the young squirrel who had the babe. She had dark blackish brown fur and blazing green eyes, she waved her staff at the Warlord.
“Who are you an’ wot reasons have you for all this?” She motioned with her paw at the vermin around them. “Why don’t you just kill us already eh? Did you come for a front row seat vermin? Did you want to watch us die slowly, you scruffy tailed, long necked, low life?”
The squirrel spoke tauntingly with a bit of sarcasm and disgust mixed in, and her eyes glared hatred at the fox, he allowed a faint smile.
“Brave maid you are, asking these questions, and insulting me to, not polite of you as a guest, but to your first questions. I, my young impudent creature, am Klaunt the Quick, ruler of everything south of Mossflower. And this,”
He said motioning to the vermin. “Is my patrol, they have formed a ring around you so you may not escape-"
She rolled her eyes and snorted crossing her arms over her chest. "Oh right I never would've even guessed you'd try to keep us from escaping, oh no, never!"
The fox ignored this comment and continued. "I have come to you to fight a one-on-one battle, being that my patrol is not good enough to kill you, they will not interfere in the duel. If you are to beat me I swear my captain has orders to let you both go, you will not be harmed.”
The squirrel leaned against her staff. “An’ ifn we lose?”
He narrowed his eyes and allowed himself a sly smile. “You will become my prisoners, and work for me til death frees you."
The squirrel pursed her lips then grunted. “I suppose you’ll do us in either way, bein’ that ye are a vermin, though I guess we could give it a go,”
She turned to the squirrel behind and asked while pulling up her hood. “You willin’ to try?”
He nodded then leaned down and whispered to her. “Frilla let me go first, I don’t want anything…” He swallowed hard. “I don’t want anything to happen to you. Let me go first.”
Frilla looked at the ground then at Klint. “No, I will-”
“Frill!” He whispered sharply. “I’m not going to lose you, after already losing the babe, you understand? I’m going first.”
“A-are you sure?”
He nodded, a tear slid down her cheek, and her chin quivered. “Looks like this may be it then Klint… J-just want you to know I-I love you… Just in case we don‘t pull through, this time…”
“Run if you get the chance don’t stay for me. Remember, run.” He whispered back and told her with his eyes that he returned her love.
He walked past her determinedly and faced Klaunt the Quick, tossing his staff to the side. “No weapons…Make your move.”
The fox smiled and tightened his belt, then gave a mocking bow to Klint. “Your move squirrel, I always allow guests, to go first.”
Klint glanced back at Frilla then sighed and made his first move…The battle had begun. Klint took a short running start then flipped over Klaunt, and went to kick him in the back of the head as he came down but kicked thin air, he landed on the ground and looked up to find Klaunt standing over him. The warlord kicked Klint in the face, and was rewarded with a grunt as he stood up. Klint jumped as Klaunt dropped down and tried to trip him, though Klaunt slid under and behind Klint, and jumped up to grab him around his neck. Klint choked and tried to call to Frilla.
“Nu-ow! U-un!! Frilla-a-a! Ru-u-uhn!”
Klints words were cut off as Klaunt twisted around and broke the young squirrels neck…He let Klints now limp form drop to the ground, he looked up to see Frilla running towards him. Pure. Murder. Blazing in her eyes. She jumped and flipped over Klaunt who ducked, and turned around in time to see Frillas fist swinging into his face, he fell to the ground, only to look up and find her other fist swinging again towards his face, but he reacted this time, he caught her wrist and twisted it so as to make her fall, but she rolled and jumped up to her feet. They were both breathing heavily, Klaunt looked down and wiped blood from his snout, he did not expect the young squirrel to be so quick in taking that little chance to jump and knee him in the face, though he ducked in time to see her fly over him, he twisted around quickly and grabbed her ankle jerking it at an odd angle to brake it, and it did indeed brake, she fell on the ground with a thud, but did not cry out in pain, instead she rolled on her back and jumped up on her broken ankle, grunting while doing so, bloodwrath was burning in her eyes and it was giving her strength and helping her deal with the pain, and she dived at the fox, grabbing him around his neck, and partially strangling him before he threw her off. She jumped up and dived at him again but he stepped to the side, and when she fell on the ground he turned around and grabbed her wrists, pulling them behind her. He held them there tight, and called to two of his vermin.
“You two, come here and bind her up, get a healer to fix that ankle, I would like to keep this one as a slave.”
Two vermin came over and picked up the limp squirrel, and were about to bind her paws when they were thrown off as she suddenly came to life, more vermin came to control the berserk squirrel, but she managed to throw off half a score more before being knocked unconscious by a club…