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Flango, Dinzo, Mogga and there unfortunate slave, arrived at Bankmarsh. The gates were barely hanging from there hinges. Dinzo and Mogga were shivering in fear. The High Guard Krang's limp carcass was hanging from the top of the wall with a spear impaled through his stomach. And on one of the gate doors Leer's body was pinned to it by dozens of arrows. Flango merely gave a grunt and approached the gate with his cohorts in tow. Flango knocked on one of the gate doors and it creaked open ominously. He looked back at the other three and they were crestfallen. Flango proceeded through with his blade at the ready along with Dinzo. Mogga had Oreclaw right in front of him to use as a shield.
Bodies littered the inside of the castle. They heard voices coming from the inside of the court. They stepped over carcasses as they made their way through the aftermath to the court. Flango peered in the doorway and saw the mercenaries lounging about. Byle was sitting in the throne where Lord Binx once sat.
"This certaintly is the life isn't it mates?" said Byle as he leaned back comfortably in the throne.
"Wot is?" inquired Skully, the dimwitted vixen.
Byle gave her a sharp kick to the snout. "Don't lose sleep over it Skully! Sklud, tomorrow morning you and Scoral will dispose of the bodies. Have the slaves help you to because there is about fifty of them in the pit still. We're going to have this place running just like the dumb kitty did!"
All of the mercenaries drew their weapons at Flango and his cohorts. "Who are you?" questioned Byle.
"I am Cap'n Flango and we think we may be able to assist you."
"You see I've got some slaves here for you in return for a seat of power in your castle and a new ship. I also have some valuable information for you."
"Wot's the information?"
"Well first I want my promise for the new ship and some authority."
Byle stared at the rat unsure whether or not to trust him but decided to go with it. "Ok, your new ship is good as done and you can be the highest under me."
"Excellent! Now then, there is a large crew on their way here led by a Cap'n Deadskull. He's a complete loon and a ruthless killer. He killed his entire crew and now he's controlling mine. So I am not doubting he's on his way to conquer this place."
Byle smiled because now he could prepare for the enemy approaching. "When should this Cap'n Deadskull be here?"
"At the sun's highest point tomorrow."
"Well then, Flango, welcome to Fort Fangtip. The former name Bankmarsh was too pathetic. Now go put your slaves in the pit and we need to start getting rid of these deadbeasts tonight. The rest of you lot, get ready because I don't know how tomorrow will play out. Now get out!"
Flango and his cohorts dragged Oreclaw back to the pit where at this point he was begging to be set free. "Please don't put me back down there I'll do anything!"
"Harhar! I find it hard to believe a blubbering fool like you use to be a cap'n! Put him in there!"
Mogga gave him a shove, happy to be rid of his burden, and Oreclaw fell back into the slave pit. Mogga wiped his paws together and faced Flango. "Now, Cap'n, I'm confused, you said that we had slaves to give him, but we only had him. Why did you lie?"
Flango chuckled. "Hehe don't worry Mogga, I wasn't lying at all. Now would you two do me a favor and drop your blades?" They did as they were told as Flango grabbed Mogga and Dinzo by their collars and pushed them into the pit.
Mogga and Dinzo stared up at their captain confused by what he had just done. "Cap'n! Why did you do this to us?"
"Yea! We were loyal to you! We stuck with you no matter wot even when the whole crew betrayed you we stayed!"
Flango laughed mercilessly. "Harharhar! You halfwits! It's survival of the fittest in this world and I'm just fitter! A good night to the both of ya!" He marched off without any regret in his actions.
The two were refusing to believe what just happened. "Maybe part of plan," suggested Dinzo.
"Yea! He's just waiting for the right time to--"
"You two are a couple of morons!" The pair turned and saw Oreclaw sitting on the ground. "You honestly think this is some sort of plan? Think again! You're a slave now just like the rest of us. You killed a friend of mine and brought me back to this hell. But if you guys want to get out, we'll have to work together. Are ya'll up for it?"
The two were hesitant but realized there was no other option. "Yea we'll help, but this don't make us mates!"
"Trust me, we'll never be mates," he said coldly as he walked away.
"Well where are you going?"
"I'm going to figure out how to get out of here...again!"
By nightfall the bodies had been cleared out completely. Byle was on top of the wall scouting to make sure the oncoming invaders didn't come early. Flango met him on top of the wall.
"So wot's the call their matey?"
"Prepare is really the only thing we can do isn't it?"
"I hope that you're preparing well. Deadskull will not be pushover I can give ya that much." Byle didn't answer. He was squinting and looking hard at the farther part of the shore. "Wot're you lookin' at mate?"
"Is it me or do you see a pair of creatures running across the shore away from us?"
Flango squinted to but didn't see a thing. "Nah matey you're just seein' things. Probably from the nerves ya got dancin' around from thinkin' 'bout tomorrow!"
"Yea you're right, that's probably wot it is. I'm going to get wot sleep I can, you and I have to be first up tomorrow."
Unknown to the fox and the weasel, the two creatures that they thought weren't really there were the exhausted ex-rulers of Bankmarsh. Binx and Reegor, though to tired to press on, did so anyway, wanting to put as much distance between themselves and the castle. Binx stopped and looked back at his former domain. "I can't believe I lost it...wot would my father've said?"
Reegor just grabbed his father by the back of his robe and pulled him onward. "No time for this, father! We must keep moving!"
The two of them had finally made into the woods of Sigora. They stopped when they heard snores. Binx peered through some bushes and saw a huge camp of corsairs lounging about sleeping. "Who are these creatures?"
"I dunno, but I think we best be quiet and keep going to avoid trouble."
Then a strangely smooth voice came from behind them. "I believe you've missed that chance, mateys!"
The father and son's heads banged together and they blacked out.
Groam nudged Folly into awakeness. "Wake up matey, we finally have a chance!" The pair had been spying on the camp for hours waiting.
"Has Deadskull finally fallen asleep?"
"No but he's dragging two dead foxes into his tent! Now we've got to use this opportunity."
"Then wot are you waiting for? Go!" Folly and Groam had been waiting all night for a chance to rescue the poor squirrel, but while the rest of the crew was napping, Deadskull roamed around the camp for seemingly no reason. They approached the sleeping squirrel who was tied to a tree. Folly put her paw on his mouth while Groam cut the rope. "We're rescuing you, don't make a sound!" He nodded his head in understanding. They made their way through the camp when the squirrel accidentally stepped on the paw of a sleeping crewbeast.
"Wot the--" The rat was cut off as Groam swiftly slew him and they continued running.
When they had felt they'd made it safely away from the camp they rested. The squirrel still had said nothing since the rescue. "So where are ya from matey?" asked Groam.
The squirrel remained silent.
"It's alright friend, we won't do anything to harm ya."
The squirrel still kept quiet.
"Well we'll start with ourselves then, I'm Groam and this mousemaid is Folly. We don't live anywhere, we simply just roam around Sigora helping creatures in need. If you want to tell us your story, we'd love to hear it."
The squirrel looked up and stared at them for a second before he finally spoke. "My name is Feldin Sharpfur. I come from a small village on the northern shore of Sigora. Deadskull and his crew invaded my village and killed my father and mother and every other beast there. My father gave me his sword and told me to run. I did, and they caught me and now that fiend has my father's sword. You see, it can't end here, I need to get it back!"
"Listen, Feldin, we know wot that's like. The same thing happened to our village when we were infants. Both of each of our parents dead too. This is why we do this, and we will stick with you until you get your sword back."
"Thank you so much friends! So wot's the next step?"
"Me and Folly desperately need rest from staying up all night. If you could keep watch for us we'd be thankful."
"Just leave it to me! Get some rest and I'll keep guard!"
Folly and Groam fell asleep, fully confident that Feldin would keep them safe.
Binx and Reegor were slapped back into reality. They were tied with their backs together inside of a small tent. "I honestly can't believe the luck I'm having tonight. Wot are the chances that Lord Binx, the very wildcat I was on my way to kill, would stumble into my camp? It's just unheard of! So wot brings you nitwits to this neck 'a the woods, eh?"
"Listen Deadskull," blubbered Binx, "we just want to be on our way, we've got no business with ya!"
"Silence worm! We've got no business, you're right, but we've got unfinished business! Look wot you've done to me! I had a great life back at Bankmarsh as the High Guard and you turned me into this monster who wanders around hearing music in his head all day long. I feel as though my ears are bleeding and I'm slipping ever so farther past the brink of reality and the cold twisted oblivion that is my imagination! I have every right in the world to rip your black heart out and brick into your beloved castle along with all the other poor souls you've hid between the walls!"
"You've turned into loon! You're just a crazy loon! This is the reason why I banished you!"
"Banished me! More like killed me! Now I'm going to return the favor!" He raised his sword to kill the wildcat.
"Wait wait! I can help you! I can help you! Listen, before you do something irrational! I was forced out of my domain my a stupid fox and his mercenaries and they currently occupy my castle! There's a secret entrance we can show you and you can have the castle! I swear! Just let me live!"
Deadskull digested the offer. "Ok then, you can live as long as you show me this. But listen, Binx, if you cross me, I'll cross my sword over your throat! Got it?" Binx nodded quickly. "Good...Kotzor, rouse the crew, Binxy here is gonna take us to Bankmarsh."
Kotzor came back quickly. "Cap'n, somebeast killed Socket and the squirrel is gone!"
Deadskull flipped over a table in rage. "Garrr! Well don't just stand their blubbering like whale! Get the crew and find him!" He ran out dragging the two wildcats by the rope in search of the squirrel.
Folly and Groam were wakened suddenly by the sharp shakes of Feldin. "Wake up mates! Wake up! The whole crew's headed this way! Go go go!"
The three sprinted through the forest and down the beach with a whole crew of corsairs right behind them. Two corsairs tackled Folly and Groam to the ground and Feldin still made it off into the woods. Some corsairs proceeded to pursue him but Deadskull halted them. "Forget about him! He useless anyways. So who do we have here, a couple of warriors, eh? You'll make excellent slaves, hehe! Tie 'em up with our other two guests. We're heading to Bankmarsh now."
Feldin watched from a tree as the crew dragged Folly and Groam away. "Don't worry friends, I'll save you!"
The sun was beginning to rise, lighting up the island of Sigora, where many more perilous events were about to take place...