As the young otter toiled in the boiling sun he looked towards the great gates. Memories of a better life stirred within him : cool water, dappled sunlight and cool,cool water...'

"Git a move on." A harsh ,grating voice rang out and the otter felt a sharp sting on the back of his paws.

He turned and glared at the speaker. Wartnose, the ferret quivered under the stern gaze of the dark brown otter. He stumbled off, probably to torment some other pitiful creature.The otter licked mournfully at the insides of his bonedry mouth. He was the last of the family of Zaran, yet, perhaps not the last...'

A commotion back down the line made him turn around. A weasel captain was whipping a young male badger. The poor beasts terrified yelps of pain were too much for the otter to bear.Suddenly he threw down his basket and bounded towards the scene. The last thing he remembered after sinking his teet into the weasel's arm was a spearbutt coming towards him and then........... nothing.


The otter groaned. He tried to rise to his feet but he fell back, manacles clanking around him. Suddenly the big iron door creaked open and in srode Lord Silvertail, his ermine cloak swirling around him. "You know the penalty for attacking one of my captains is death" he said."But you are a fierce fighter and I will make you a hoard soldier and ven let you carry a spear if you promise to use it under my name. So what's you answer Streamdog?"

"Only this," growled the oteer and lunged forward as far as the chains would allow him and bit the silver fox's outstretched paw. The fox jerked backhis bleeding paw ashis guards wrestled the otter to the ground. Many guards received black eyes and torn ears before they finally got him on the ground. Silvertail drew his sword and placed it firmly on the back of the otter's neck.

"Well otter you've some nerve harming me like that. What are you called?" The otter's fearless answer made Lord Silvertail shudder slightly; "I am Rorzan of Redwall"


All twenty shrews were flung into the prison together. Log a Log silently cursed himself for not posting a guard. "'Ey, look over 'ere mates," cried Flingo from the back of the cell. Log a Log hauled himself over o the back of the prison and saw an otter. The odd thing about him was that he was dark brown, almost black in fact. Suddenly the eyes snapped open and stared at the shrew. Log a Log shuddered. Clearly they had crushed the spirit of this creature like the other poor beast he had seen when he was brought in. He tapped the otter's paw and said. "Tell us how you came to be here friend."

The otter sighed and began to relate his tale.


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