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Many know the story of Redtooth, Cluny the Scourge's second in command. However, few know the background and future of this perplexing rat. Of course, such stories must begin somewhere, and there is no better place to begin than with his home.
Redtooth was born in a jungle, far away from Mossflower. In fact, virtually nobeast knew of the existence of this jungle, save for its inhabitants, and a pawful of corsairs as well. This was also where Cluny was born. The jungle provided a struggle for existence, with creatures that the mice of Mossflower never even dreamt of: jaguars. These savage felines were menacing, and rats were on their menu. Most rats lived underground; the foolish ones who went above ground were killed within a few hours. And yet, there was hope. A daring young rat by the name of Cluny had managed to kill one of the jaguars with his horde of vermin. He had also managed to sail away from the jungle island in search of other lands to conquer. Redtooth dreamt of conquesting with Cluny, but this was a foolish notion. Cluny possessed a lethal combination of strength and intelligence, as where Redtooth was just an ambitious rat. But this would not stop Redtooth. He came up with a plan for escape, but it would take flawless execution and a bit of luck to work. When the right day came, Redtooth made his move.
It was a long held belief amongst the rats of the jungle island that the jaguars were weary of water. So, Redtooth waited for a day that was filled with rain. But not just rain, a downpour. An absolute wash out. Every day, Redtooth would sneak aboveground and gather some twigs without ever fully leaving his hole. At night, he would stay up late and work on his means of escape: a small boat. At long last, the wash out that Redtooth had been waiting for came. So on that day, Redtooth threw his small canoe onto the ground and jumped in. "GERONIMO" he yelled as his small boat skidded across the flooding ground. Redtooth didn't know where the ocean was, but he remembered watching Cluny travel west from his hole. He fixed the makeshift sails and mast on his little ship, and soon, he was traveling west at a great speed. However, the sight of him quickly sailing by had triggered the predatory instincts of a jaguar. Despite the torrents of rain, it had to eat, and it was rather hungry. Throwing caution to the wind, it sped off after Redtooth.
The shore was in sight when Redtooth noticed the jaguar chasing him. His scarlet fur stood up on his neck, and he quivered with fear as he gazed at the vicious fangs that protruded from its mouth. Then, Redtooth composed himself, and he reached down for his bow. Notching an arrow to its string, Redtooth pulled the bow back and tried to aim at the beast. However, the erratic movements of his ship made it nearly impossible. He fired off an arrow, but it flew far to the right. The jaguar was gaining on him. He pulled another arrow back and fired. It sailed over the jaguar's mighty head. It was getting closer with each passing second, and just as it was a paw's length away, the boat slid down the shore. The sand however, provided too much friction, and Redtooth's small craft stopped just short of the ocean. The jaguar leapt down onto the sand with a smug grin on its face. "That's unfortunate for you, rat!" the jaguar laughed. But Redtooth was not finished. Spurred on by the desperation of survival, he leapt from the boat and landed in the ocean. The jaguar's expression changed in an instant. It was Redtooth's turn to laugh this time. "That's unfortunate for you, cat!" Redtooth laughed. The jaguar howled in anger, and picked up Redtooth's boat and smashed it against a tree. It shattered into a million pieces. "It's unfortunate that the pike have a meal instead of me!" the jaguar retorted as it walked back into the jungle. This last statement worried Redtooth. It was then that he realized he couldn't swim. The torrents of rain caused the water to crash against him mercilessly, and he swallowed a mouthful of water. There was nothing Redtooth could do, however, and soon he fell beneath the waves. Before he blacked out, Redtooth could only think about the life that he would never live.
Redtooth opened his eyes to a blinding light. He never thought that Dark Forest would be so bright. He was then aware that he was lying on wood. What came next was a feeling of nausea. "BLARRGH!" Redtooth yelled as water poured out of his mouth. This occured several more times, and each belch was worse than the one previous. He then collapsed back onto the wooden surface and continued to breathe heavily. "So, he managed to survive after all. I reckon he's part jaguar, 'cause he must have nine lives or so!" a voice rang out. Redtooth recognized that voice. The rat who possessed that voice stood over him, and Redtooth found himself staring into the face of Cluny the Scourge.
Redtooth sat shivering at the galley bench as the rat crew of Cluny's ship ate ravenously. Redtooth was disregarded by the crew and not fed. He stared longingly at the roasted meat and the barley wine. One rat dropped a piece of his meat, and Redtooth saw his oppurtunity. He slowly slid underneath the table, and crawled over to the piece. He picked it up and put it into his mouth. After all he had been through, this piece of meat seemed like the best piece he had ever eaten. Redtooth then slowly crawled back to his place, and was relieved that nobody had seen him. However, something didn't seem right. The fur on the back of his neck stood up, and he couldn't shake the feeling of being watched. He looked into the faces of every rat at the bench, but none acknowledged him. Then his gaze met Cluny's, at Redtooth realized that Cluny was staring at him. Redtooth quickly looked away, but he could tell that Cluny was still staring at him. Soon, the rest of the crew finished their dinner and cleared out of the galley, leaving Redtooth with Cluny. Redtooth kept looking down at the grains in the wood of the bench, and then it came to his attention that something was prickling his leg. As he looked down, the thing tightened around his leg and dragged him underneath the table. It was then that Redtooth realized that it was Cluny's whip-like tail that had wrapped itself around his leg. He could do nothing as the bigger, stronger rat pulled him in and dangled him upside down, suspended in mid-air. Cluny's eyes bore into Redtooth's, and at long last, Cluny spoke with a dangerous low tone. "You have taken food from my crew, rat. I saved your life, and this is how you repay me! I'm going to let the pike take care of you, you thief!"
A few moments later, Redtooth found himself tied to the bow of the ship. He was dangling upside down and was suspended above the sea. A wound to his forehead caused crimson blood to spill into the water. He instinctively knew that the pike would be on him in only a few moments. And while all of these thoughts raced through his mind, Cluny the Scourge could be heard laughing hysterically.
It started with simple ripples in the water, but quickly transcended to roaring waves as the pike frenzied around the helpless Redtooth. A few began to leap from the water, and each came closer to Redtooth with each jump. Not wishing to miss out on seeing the thief being eaten. Cluny walked over to the bow and peered over. It was then that the unimaginable happened. A pike jumped from the depths of the water, and catapulted towards the ship. This one, however, was the strongest of the group, and it wanted to devour Redtooth so badly that it jumped with extreme force out of the water, and sailed completely over the helpless Redtooth, and landed on Cluny. The Scourge roared in pain as one of the pike's razor sharp teeth punctured his eye. Cluny backed up and threw the pike from him, blood pouring out of the place where his eye used to be. In the heat of the fight, though, Cluny felt no pain. He pulled his sword out and leaped after the pike. It flopped wildly on the deck of the ship, sending rats overboard with its strong fins, where they were eaten by the pike's kin. Cluny, however, jumped on top of the pike's head and shoved his sword down through its skull. The pike flopped wildly for a moment, and then stopped. The pike was dead. Cluny jumped down and covered his eye with a cloth. He ran to his quarters in pain as his crew looked at the pike. "I never heard of no rat ever killing a pike before," Fangburn said. Cheesethief looked at the pike. "It's because nobeast slays Cluny, nobeast!" he exclaimed. As the crew examined the pike, Cluny reemerged from his quarters, this time wearing an eyepatch. He strode purposefully over to wear the pike lay and in one quick swipe, severed the pike's head. He held the hulking head up and looked at his fearful crew. "You have seen what I am capable of fools! Nobeast can slay Cluny the Scourge! NOBEAST!" Cluny roared as he tossed the pike head overboard. The pike in the water quickly swam away at the sight of their brother's grizzled head. Cluny returned to his quarters, while the crew tended to the mess on the deck. However, Cluny had forgotten about the rat that was tied up on the bow. Redtooth breathed a sigh of relief. He was safe for now.
Cluny's crew completely forgot about Redtooth, and it wasn't until they reached land that they noticed the malnourished rat tied to the bow. Darkclaw cut him loose, and Redtooth landed with a thud on the ground. He quickly arose as feeling began to come back to his limbs. As he struggled to walk, Darkclaw handed him a sword. "Cluny won't try to kill you now. You're a part of the crew. You'd best not do anything to anger him though," Darkclaw said. Redtooth thanked him and moved with the crew inland. They were in a place called Mossflower Wood, and Cluny was setting course for a mine that was located to the south.