Thunder echoed gently across the plains, signalling to beasts and insects to take shelter from the approaching storm.

The clouds came quickly and with little warning, blown into mossflower by an ill wind. It had rained the night before, leaving the the grassland muddy and hard to traverse. To the east the long edge of forrest could be seen in the distance.

To the west and south were only plains for as far as the eye could see. The tall grass had withered from the fall weather, leaving the plains stained yellow with the season.

St. Ninnians Chruch was in this area, somewhere. Even if it were not visable yet. Surprisingly it wasn't too hard to get lost here. The plains were littered with poorly paved roads leading off to small villages or encampments, many of which no longer exist.

The plains were also occasionally littered with caves or the oddly placed stone. As if civilization once belonged here but was forgotten by time.

The only civilization the fox was concerned about however was finding a tavern eventually.

The word to describe him was burly. He was a red furred beast of dark complection with the tip of his fur painted black in some places. Prehaps a crossbreed of a sort, he had a grey wring about his tail right before the standard white tip. Before that was a light yellow ring. He shared the same furr pattern over the tips of his ears and paws.

The most imidiet thing a beast see's is the creatures garb. His cloths are a mixture of civilized cloth and tribal leathers. The fox was clothed in a long sleeved otter hide jacket. The jacket left a large gap exposed down the fox's midriff save for a set of bead armor that covered his front and back but leaving the sides open.

A large rounded layer of flesh covered his belly, which hung over the belt at his waist. The belt in turn held up a pair of studded leather greeves and a tattered cloth sash that reached down to his knees in the front and parted in the back.

At his side he had a sheathed rapier. Over his shoulder he drank from a small clay mug that he carried. Something about his breath suggested it wasn't water.

In his free paw he held a rope tightly, bound to the wrists of the beast he was escorting through these lands with a merry tune on his lips.

Ooc just realized that i would probibly need to pose in gern's captor. Feel free to make him what ever he needs to be. Slaver, bountry hunter or bandit. And yes, i was trying to convey a crude, unwashed brute of a beast :3 everyone else feel free to pose in your alts where ever and when ever you see fit. Pose order is based on who poses first.

(OOC: Is this alright?)
IC:
A lanky hare strode along the welcoming path towards the ruins of Saint Ninians. His fur looked like it was halfway between it`s winter coat, but the beasts who knew him would know it always looked like that. His eyes were a bright green and he was garbed in a tattered beige tunic with a worn string belt. He was fairly young - nearly twenty - and carefree. He hummed softly to himself, before breaking out into a freshly made song.

`Ooh, twas a jolly windy day today
And a blinking awful night
When a poor starving chap spies a fray
And gives them all a fright

Armed to the teeth he jolly well charged
With a knife and fork in his paw
Over and up and around he barged
Until he made them sore

He leaps and socks the leading stoat
With a bowl of fresh made salad
And I fear I cant quite reach this note So Ill have to end my ballad… wot wot!`

On the last high note, he leaped up and kicked the air triumphantly before tripping over and falling into a ditch. He lay there muttering darkly to himself.
Dreadful day when a blinking chap is left to starve in a confounded ditch, wot! I say, anybeast around to help a poor famished beast? he called, before struggling upright.

Ooc Dreeka…i laughed out loud reading this XD

(OOC: Thanks, I like hares)

Trailing behind the fox, his wrists bound tight in front of him, was a ferret. He had the look of a working beast who had left his youthful days now, and had too little to eat; he had wiry muscles and slender brown-furred body. He wore a roughly spun shirt, held together at the front by laces, and britches of a similar material. He had a cloth tied around a wound on his neck, his footpaws were bruised and bloodied, his tail drooped till it touched the ground, and there was a patch of dried blood on his cheek from a small cut. The ferret's body seemed to be covered in old scars. He had a few missing teeth, and some had been replaced with gold ones. His ears were chipped, and pierced with a few rings. His little finger on his right paw was missing. His name was Rancell Vane, and he was a slaver.

Rancell had said very little since he had been captured by the fox. This had been one of the worst days of his life. The ferret's stock of slaves had now escaped, and his fellow slavers were likely dead, or about to be. The fox had no doubt stolen his weapons, a couple of curved knives. The worst thing was that at the end of this journey, the fox would collect his bounty on Rancell, who would then be hanged or beheaded for his crimes.

His crimes. The word made the ferret grit his teeth in indignation. He didn't see why beasts set bounties on slavers like him. He wasn't doing wrong, in fact he felt that he was perfectly right to do what he did. The first beasts he had sold into slavery had been trespassing on his land. When he had discovered that selling beasts was far more profitable than working the land, he had started his own slaving business. Mossflower Country was full of shiftless wanderers who were no good to anybeast. There were annoying wandering minstrels, or stupid farm lads who were seeking adventure, or corsairs trying to find their fortunes on land. There were tribesbeasts that attacked civilised villages, and there were fat, foolish woodlanders that thought they could prance around the country like they owned it. Rancell thought he was doing the world a favour by kidnapping these useless creatures and selling them to rich and powerful slave owners who would find a use for them. It made the ferret some wealth, and it made the country a nicer place to be.

So what, that he stole beasts off the roads, or out of their beds at night? Who cared that he'd put tribal villages to the torch and chained up everybeast that lived there as they watched their homes burned? This was the way of the world; the only way to rise to the top of the ladder is to kick everybeast else off it. Rancell Vane was meant to be a freeborn ferret, because he was smart, ambitious and strong. The slaves were meant to be sold because they were stupid and weak. How dare other beasts pass judgement over him? How dare they call him, Rancell, a criminal! The ferret seethed in anger and frustration as he stumbled along the road, his sore wrists being tugged along by the fox.

He couldn't blame the fox for this, he supposed. As much as he'd like to gut the bounty hunter that had captured him, he at least could understand the fox's motivations. Rancell's bounty was quite high; that was what happened when you told beasts where they could stick their stupid anti-slavery laws. The ferret stared at the fox's back as he trudged along, his mind turning over different ways of slitting the fox's throat. So long as Rancell was alive, there was the opportunity of escape. The ferret simply had to work out the best moment to strike. The fox had been lucky to capture Rancell Vane once; he would not be so lucky to capture him twice. As Rancell plotted, his chipped ears twitched. He could hear the faint noise of somebeast singing. Rancell hated singing. He gritted his teeth, and sniffed, his dirty, scarred nose twitching. It was a hare, he could tell by his seasons of experience tracking such beasts. Hare by scent, and hare by irritating dialect.

"If we're stoppin' fer food," Rancell growled, "Let's eat that."

(OOC: Fates help the hare)
IC:
The hare finally managed to climb out of the ditch and dust himself down. He tugged at a couple of pouches on the left side of his belt and a thin slice of pie dropped out of the larger one, along with a few crumbs. He bolted it down, then grasped for another piece, only to find the pouch was empty.
Blinking bounders stolen all my scoff` he muttered to himself as he closed the pouch and headed, accidentally, in the wrong direction, away from Saint Ninians, towards the slaver and the bounty hunter. Once again, he broke out into song.

Tis a blinking terrible day when A poor chaps food runs off
To find a bounder`s stomach, then,
Become their good scoff

Cos a hares a jolly noble beast And hes to proud to say
Youve taken my bally old feast
And then just ran away`

So you absoballylutely terrible chap
Had better come back to me
To give me my food with no trick or a trap
Then I can set you freeeeee!`

The hare was now on the same path as the slaver and the bounty hunter, coming closer with each odd stride. He still hadn`t realized he was going the wrong way, too focused on creating songs and searching for any free grub that would just happen to be lying at the side of the road.

Ooc (indeed XD pose order is now me, gerns, and dreeka.)

The fox just replied with a growl to silence the ferret. It was true, Dale was in it purely for the gold. But that didn't mean the fox didn't get a smug sense of satisfaction that he is doing a good deed. Oh, he knew he was far from some hero come boldy to save the day. His paws were too bloody for such nonsense.

No he compared himself to some kind of monster that appears to devour the evil king and save the princess, if only to ransom her off later.

Besides, half his family were tribal beasts…none were thankfully affected by this...this creature he dragged behind him. But there was that odd sense of honor creeping up his spine. A sense that he was doing right.

In a job where you hunt beasts for money it was a rare and cherished feeling.

The fox indeed heard the sound of the hare even if he didn't readily identify the species. It could be a trap, one set by those who worked for the ferret and survived Dale's blade.

With no time to properly hide him and the ferret the fox gave a tug on the rope, pulling him along. "Or maybe I'll just eat YOU for dinner. Bounty for you dead isn't that much lower than alive..."

It was shortly there after that the hare appeared in view over the rise of a small hill. The first sight he was subjected too was that of a tribal looking fox pulling an emancipated ferret along.

Probibly not the best sight to be greeted with as a lone wondering hare. It also didn't help that Dale actually sized him up for dinner the moment he saw him. "Maybe next time. This one is a bit scrawny." He said in a second reply to the question Rancell asked.

The fox's growl made the ferret go silent for a while. Rancell stumbled along, scowling as the fox tugged on the rope. He had already tried walking closer to the fox, to give the rope some slack, but the bounty hunter hadn't liked that. Walking closer meant more chances of Rancell attacking the fox, after all. So, the ferret had to endure this humiliating trip being pulled along like one of his own slaves in the chain gang. Rancell was sore about the loss of those chains. They hadn't taken the heavy collection of steel links and manacles with them, and now the slaves were freed, the chains were probably lying in a ditch somewhere back where the slaver gang had been ambushed. They were quality chains too, they hadn't come cheap. If Rancell ever got out of this, he'd have to go back and find them. Good steel was hard to find in these parts.

Rancell looked up as the fox spoke. True, the hare was scrawny, but Rancell was not a fussy eater. He hadn't eaten since he'd been captured, and worse, he'd had precious little water to drink. The darkening sky and the rumble of thunder told him it would rain soon. If only he had a mug, he might drink his fill. Normally he hated drinking just water, and preferred ale or wine. As it was, the fox had not let him take any of his possessions, not his flask, nor his mug. The ferret didn't whine though, he just kept on walking. Hate would keep him going in place of food, and the ferret had a lot of hate within him to stew over. Hating the bounty hunter, and hating the beasts that persecuted him made him feel better about himself. He enjoyed letting the anger build in him, imagining all the horrific and satisfying ways he could take revenge on his enemies. It was a good distraction from his hunger, his sore paws, his cuts and bruises, and the sting of humiliation at being the fox's prisoner.

The first drops of rain began spitting down. Rancell could feel the cold flecks of rain slide down his scarred back. He grumbled to himself, but said nothing. As the rain came down, the dirt road became softer, muddying the ferret's footpaws. They were getting closer to the hare, and as they approached, the ferret could see this was exactly the sort of beast he would quite like to put in chains. He sang loud songs, he was dressed like a low-born that nobeast would miss, and he had the look common to most hares of a being a complete simpleton. For these 'crimes' Rancell would have gladly sold the hare to row on a corsair ship, or be the fool in some lord's castle in the Northlands. He liked that idea, the more he thought about it. However, the slaver was hardly in any position to be kidnapping the hare, or selling him to anybeast.

The ferret considered calling out to the hare. Putting on a show of convincing panic, pretend that he was being kidnapped by the brutish fox. The trouble was, Rancell was not a good liar. He was actually rather bad at being deceptive, and had left the sneakier parts of the slaving business to his friends. Besides, it would wound his pride quite badly to be rescued by some stupid hare. Then his sense of honour would tell him that he owed the hare a debt. Rancell disliked being in other beast's debt. He might be a slaver, but he took debts quite seriously. If he didn't, nobeast would do business with him. So, though the ferret licks his lips nervously as they got closer to the woodlander, he remained silent.

The hare, still searching for free grub at the side of the path, and not spotting any (who just leaves food at the side of the road?), still did not see the slaver and the bounty hunter. He was busy trying to conjure up a song in his head, and he tripped over a rock at the top of a small hill, rolled down and stopped at their paws. He looked up and grinned at them like they were old pals, which he possibly imagined they.
Apologies sah and sah! I was just looking for a jolly old bite to eat, and I didnt spy that confounded rock up therehe said, then curled up his ears and inspected the two of them closely.I say chaps, youre not the blinking enemy are you? he asked, then brightened up, of course straightening his ears again before they could say anything.
No, no, of course not. Any chance you have a spot of grub on you to feed a poor starving beast, wot wot?he finished, jumping to his feet and starting to walk with the bounty hunter, toying with the rope, his ears bending and straightening comically.
Where are you jolly chaps off too, eh?

The fox could only stare as the joulyfull beast came tumbling down the hill. It was like watching two carts collide. It was impossible to turn away. He listened to the hare blather on about food and enemies and other things he didn't quite catch.

"Then again," Dale said to the ferret behind him with out taking his eyes off of the beast, "I am starting to warm up to the idea." The fox didn't mention what idea he had in mind but the ferret would know.

Giving a not so gental tug on the rope Dale began to march the prisoner once again. "What we are up too is finding shelter before we drown in the coming rain storm." He said simply as he walked past the hare. Where the ferret had a nose for sniffing out beasts the fox had survived enough nights on the open woods to know when the weather was about to turn worse.

The rain started to thicken even as he walked.

(Ooc I'll spoof Ninninian's my next turn. I felt it would be too many actions for me to take and interupt story flow if i posed it here ^^)

Rancell's scarred face twisted as he grinned smugly, despite his precarious situation. He had a feeling the young hare lad was a simpleton when he had first seen him, and the ferret's intuition had been proven right. The fool kept talking, oblivious to what his own eyes were seeing. The binding around the ferret's wrist seemed to mean nothing to the hare. The way the two of them dressed and acted should have been an indication to any so-called civilised beast that the two of them were not pleasant or polite company. Rancell eyed the hare critically. He was a talker. Talkers didn't make for good slaves if the talking was rubbish nobeast wanted to hear. To make the talkers easier to sell, Rancell usually cut out their tongues with his curved blade.

"Y'see?," Rancell growled as he was roughly tugged forward again, "Somebeasts only got one use."

The ferret doubted the fox would listen to him. Rancell knew the bounty hunter was not suddenly going to change his mind about the nice fat reward he'd get for seeing the slaver hang. But hating the fox and teaching him about the virtues of slavery were not mutually exclusive. This was a perfect case-in-point of the sort of beast that needed- no, deserved to be chained up and forced into servitude. The world didn't have room for idlers dancing through the countryside singing their off-key tunes and begging for food off strangers. That's what the hare was doing! The woodlander was a parasite, trying to leech off the kindness of strangers. Fortunately, neither the ferret nor the fox could be described as 'kind' beasts.

"Can't stand beggars," Rancell grumbled, moreso to himself than the other two. He scowled again as he walked along, his footpaws sinking and squishing into the mud. Why should anybeast be charitable to another? Nobeast had ever given him anything since the day his mother had given him birth. He had grasped at success with his own claws, and walked every mile of his journey on his own footpaws. The ferret shivered; as the rain poured harder, his soggy shirt clung to him, and the wound on his neck stung as the water seeped into it. Nobeast was going to give him mercy either. So he would have to get out of this situation on his own, without friends. The ferret gave a rueful grin. That was the way it had always been, for him. He didn't even know if the other slavers would have called him a friend, before they were killed.

@coolcoyote:

"What we are up too is finding shelter before we drown in the coming rain storm." He said simply as he walked past the hare.

The hares smile brightened, if that was even possible.Absolutely spiffing idea, wot? And another jolly good idea is that bally well walk together. With you, me, and that charming looking chap that youre towing along, well find shelter with our three blinking pairs of eyeshe exclaimed as he stumbled and fell over. He pulled himself to his feet again, watching Rancell grumble to himself.Beg pardon, but  what are you mumbling about, wot?` he asked, dropping back to walk with the ferret.

"Best not to speculate." The fox said. He cotinued onward before the words about the hare following them registered in his mind. Turning on his heal he exclaimed, "Wait, what?"

–--

Thunder echoed through out the woods. And for those who somehow failed to hear it the first time thunder clapped again shortly there after. The rain was steady, in thick droplets. Soaking what it touched to the bone. The rain also brought with it a thick fog that stuck closely with the ground.

The fox led the procesion of merry and un merry beasts. Somehow the fox had aggreed to let the hare tag along. Or maybe he was too lazy to run him off. The hare didn't seem a bad sort. But he could easily get in the way, and that would make a problem for Dale.

The ruins of St. Nininian's lay before them quite, desolate, drowned by fog and obscured into something completely different than it was origionally built for.

At the moment though the fox could care less if it were a cave. If it kept the rain out it and the walls were steady then it was good.

The fattened fox trudged onward, weary of his steps down the foggy, rainy, and ultimately muddy road. The seasons were not kind to derolict buildings. Parts of the roof were blown off as well as the walls. The grass had grown tall as mother earth sought to relaclaim the land around the building, even around its steps.

"Ok. Here are the rules." The fox finally said to the hare and ferret. "This ferret. He is my bounty. Do not go near him. Do not talk to him. Do not even look at him funny." He then gestured to the ferret. The look he passed his way said all the words he needed. It said 'I worked hard to catch you...I will NOT appreciate catching you again..."

The fox then turned for the church. Upon further inspection it appeared that there was a recent addition to the building. Part of the wall had collapsed on the west side. A rather sizable gap bore through the wall...

And there were tracks leading into it.

Cart tracks to be precise. Dale narrowed his eyes but didn't feel the need to be alarmed quite yet. That would come shortly when the tubby vulpine stepped in through the hole and caught sight of a darkened room. The chairs had been cast to the side, rotton from age. Some had been broken down to make fire wood though in a small camp fire in the center of the stone floor.The fire had gone out long ago but still smouldered.

In the center of the room stood a small push cart with a tarp drawn over the back. It smelled like fruit, veggie, nuts. Woodlander food.

There was the smell of something else as well. Something besides the scent of the squirrel that was absent from the room.

"I said…" Rancell began, but he trailed off into silence. His lip curled slightly as he glanced at the hare walking beside him. Was there any point in asking the wandering woodlander who he was, or why he had no food, or companions in the middle of the countryside? No doubt the answers would be as ridiculous as everything else the hare said. Still, he couldn't go calling the hare just 'hare'. If he ever got loose and managed to do the world a favour by killing the hare, at least he would do the woodlander the honour of knowing his name. And it was only fair the hare know the name of the beast that would end his life. Rancell gave a slight cough, and spoke a little less harshly. "I said... m'name's Rancell Vane. What d'they call ye, lad?"

The village idiot, Rancell thought to himself in answer to his own question. He snorted at his own private joke. The only trouble was, there weren't any villages nearby for the hare to be the idiot of. How could such a creature have gotten this far away from anywhere else in Mossflower on his own without injuring himself or getting captured by one group or another? Rancell said nothing as the bounty hunter in charge of their little group decided the hare could come along. Inwardly though, he seethed. Despite their discussion of eating the hare previously, the ferret suspected the fox would not actually follow through with that. Rancell glowered. He had been captured by a bounty hunter with a sense of… generosity. How sickening. The ferret remained quiet as they trudged on until they came upon the gloomy sight of an old abandoned church. Muddy cart tracks seemed to be leading into the building itself, though Rancell was much too tired, physically and emotionally, to think much of it.

The ferret sniffed the musty air as they stepped inside. Water dripped off him onto the dusty stone floor. There were wet patches on the floor where the rain was coming through the battered roof. It was dim inside, and it smelt of earth. Nature was reclaiming this place. Rancell found it beautiful, in a sad, uncomfortable way. The most curious thing about the room was the push-cart. Smoke from the fire was still curling upwards as the ferret approached, at least until Dale gave a warning tug on the rope. Rancell ignored the pain; his interest lay elsewhere. He could scent the food, and the traces of squirrel. His eyes could see marks in the dust on the floor. There was something else though, a scent of a presence that was making him uneasy. He felt something, an ancient fear, the stirring of an ancestral memory that had made his forebears tremble in the dark of their holes and caves.

"Oh, good," Rancell said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "Another… friend."

The ferret gave a quiet dooking chuckle at what he viewed as exclusively the bounty hunter's problem. More woodlanders, potentially getting in the fox's way. Just more opportunities for Rancell, as far as he was concerned. The ferret shook himself, spraying droplets of water and making his brown fur stand up on end. Quite a bit of the water ended up flicking the hare. Rancell took a few deep breaths, and watched the puffs of mist from his breath rising in front of him. He had been on the move all day, and now they'd stopped, his knees felt like jelly. He bent over, his tail drooping. Rancell was tired, and didn't care so much right now if the room was already occupied by some as of yet unseen squirrel. He wanted to rest here, in spite of the warning signals his senses were sending him.

@Gerns:

Rancell gave a slight cough, and spoke a little less harshly. "I said… m'name's Rancell Vane. What d'they call ye, lad?"

The hare grinned.
Of course. How rude of a bod to not introduce themselves, wot? Mnames not lad though, its Stulta Vorax! You can call me Stulta though, its my first name ysee, wot, wot!`

Stulta was very glad when they reached shelter. His stomach rumbled and he patted it, giving a nervous laugh.
Beg pardon old beans. Havent had a jolly old meal since blinking ages agohe exclaimed, not at all realizing they werent alone.

@coolcoyote:

"Ok. Here are the rules." The fox finally said to the hare and ferret. "This ferret. He is my bounty. Do not go near him. Do not talk to him. Do not even look at him funny." He then gestured to the ferret.

Stultas face went grim for a moment, then went even jollier then before.Got it old lad! Bountys yours, six feet back, no words to him, no staring at him, eh, wot! he said, then peeked outside.
Looks like the rain wont stop for us, wot wot! Tell ywhat, Ill sing a song to drown it out, wot?` without waiting for a reply, the hare launched into yet another song.

So, here we are, just us three Waiting for the storm to end A fox, a ferret, and a hare - Thats me
All good chums and friends

T`would be jolly good, to share some food
To feast on, just a bite
No need to be rude, it ruins the mood
If it ends up with a fight

So, lets put our safety first And get some rest, old chap To stop the hunger and quench the thirst Im going to have a nap!`

Without another word, the foolish glutton fell asleep, snoring lustily.

The fox could only watch as the hare fell asleep practically where he stood. Dale could only roll his eyes. And woodlanders wondered why preditors ate them?

Rest he said, HA! Dale wasn't getting any rest. He should have done a quick search for the woodlanders who owned this cart but he dared not leave fhe ferret alone with this fool. So the fox was left with staying awake on watch for when ever they came back.

Dragging the ferret along he tied the rope to the spoke of the wheel so he could rummage through the cart for supplies.

It didn't take long for the fox to get the fire going again. Sitting down next to the fire the fox took off his jacket and set it down to dry. Leaning back on his paws he began to enjoy a sack full of delicious berries and a few apples.

Admittedly the fox looked upon the sleeping hare with the intent of making a meal out of him. He put the idea off though. Too much work though, and he most certainly didnt want to be caught eating hare when the wood landers returned.

Instead he shrugged and threw an apple at the ferrets head. "Hey you! No dozing off for you either. If I have to suffer on watch then so do you!"

–-

Little did they know that they were not the only beasts seeking refuge from the night.

"P-please...I...I played your game..." the squirrel had to force the words out of his mouth. It was getting harder to breath with the creature coiling around his torso. He was a simple squirrel. Dull redish brown fur with several seasons of healthy eating attached to girth. He wore a simple yellow tunic and a straw hat.

"And you lossst. You know what happenss to those who lossse." The squirel let out a noisy squeak. Trying to beg for his life was hard when one was being crushed to death.

Both traveler and monster had to pause however to the sound of...signing? The voice echoed up through the ruins even into the upper offices. "It looks like we have guessstsss." The creature turned its head back to the  farmer. His lips grew into a sly grin, "Which meanssss your entertainment value...isss at an end..."

"No please! Wait!" The squirrel yelled at the top of his lungs but his please were mostly drowned out by the sound of the rain, even after the creature began to devour him.

The squirrel's tail was the last to go, sucked up into the snakes maw like a noodle. With the squirrel still sliding further down his gullet the snake reached over with his tail towards the beasts fallen straw hat.

Picking it up and placing it on his own head the snake smirked. "One musst always be propperly dressssed before meeting new guesssts. We wouldn'tsss want to give a bad firssst impression...now would we..." The snake chuckled at his own joke. Someone had too. With a serpant like shrug he tossed the hat aside before slithering out the door. It was time to greet his new friends...

Ooc decided not to play coy with the snake this time ^^

Rancell made to catch the apple, but fumbled with it. It was harder to catch things when your paws were still tied, and the ferret had never been much of a catcher anyway. Still, the apple being caught, Rancell was quick about eating it. His sharp teeth made quick work of it down to the core. Each time an apple seed made its way into his mouth, he spat it out, not really caring where it ended up. One landed in the fire, another bounced past the sleeping hare. The slaver glared at the bounty hunter, not quite seeing the logic behind him having to stay awake as well. The fox probably just meant to keep him tired so he'd be easier to handle. Rancell spat out another seed and threw the apple core onto the smouldering ashes of the fire. He was a fast eater, especially after all the forced marching he'd been through. He glanced at Stulta, who had started snoring in moments of hitting the ground. Rancell supposed he should be grateful that the hare had fallen asleep before the fox had started throwing fruit around. Stulta would have probably gotten the apple instead of Rancell. The ferret smirked a little to himself. The beggar deserved to go hungry. He hoped that the fox would cram every piece of food into his flabby gut by the time the hare woke up. Then, the fox would have a stomach ache, the hare would starve, and Rancell might get a chance to escape.

The ferret sat down beside the cart wheel he was tied to, and leaned against it. He was still quite wet, and he didn't want to catch a chill. A sniffling, sneezing ferret would not be so adept at sneaking away. Rancell undid the laces that held the front of his shirt together, and wriggled the shirt off his back, until it was a crumpled, soaked lump wrapped around his bound paws. He twisted and squeezed out the water onto the floor. The ferret's torso had several pale scars that cut through his fur, where it didn't grow any more. His leanness verged on the scrawny, curious for a creature that was supposed to be one of the most dangerous and successful slavers in the country. Most beasts in his position would be double his weight, but Rancell found it hard to keep so much food down. Once, he had been a stronger ferret, who had eaten plenty and filled out the large britches and shirt that hung loosely on his body now. However, his digestive system was not all that it had once been.

Rancell looked more and more nauseous as he watched as the fox eat the fruit and berries. The ferret shivered, and put a paw on his stomach. Not now, he thought, gritting his teeth. He retched a few times, breathing loudly as he tried to control himself. After a minute or two, the spasms passed. Rancell tried to muster up a hateful glare at the fox, but the ferret just looked worn out and slightly embarrassed. He sighed, his shoulders slumping. The stone floor was cold and uncomfortable, and the cart wheel was digging into his back. No chance of getting some rest even if the bounty hunter let him, it seemed. Rancell watched the hare snore, his lip curling. Thankfully the rain was more pleasant to listen to, even if it made it harder to hear the absent squirrel in advance. Rancell sniffed; he was sure there had been a squirrel about, but the place seemed deserted. He hoped the squirrel would return soon, and see the fox stealing his food. Then maybe the two of them would fight. The fox was a powerful brute, and would probably kill the squirrel, but perhaps it would tire him out, or injure him. The slaver smiled cruelly at the thought. As the moments passed, Rancell entertained himself with imagining putting the other two beasts with him in chains.

((OOC: Farewell fat squirrel, we never knew you!))

(OOC: Sorry, short post)
IC:
Stulta was awake as soon as the food was taken out, as many hares seem to be. He waited for a few seconds for the other two to take a bit, then bounded to his feet, snatched a rather large helping of food, and ran back to his cosy spot. In a few seconds, every piece of food he had grabbed was devoured.
Jolly good tuck, wot wot? he said. Can`t be wasted by those rotters! he thought, then settled down, closed his eyes and began snoring, his nose constantly twitching.

For once the ferret was correct in his assumptions. While waiting for the owner of the cart to return the fox decided to help himself to another helping of fruit. He was startled to say the least when the hare bolted up and stole food from the cart so suddenly.

His sword was half drawn by the time the hare was half done with his meal. Shaking his head the startled fox returned his blade to it's sheath.

Some time passed. Dale would get up, secure himself more food, and eat away at his meal. Never once did he start a conversation with the ferret. The ferret was his prisoner. Nothing he did or say would chance that. So he ate in silence.

Unfortunetly his glut came at a price. With a belly so swollen with fruit, berries, and even veggies the fattened fox became drowsy. His head leaned forward, eyes heavy with sleep.

Before he knew it Dale was snoring peacefully stretched out on the stone floor, using his coat as a pillow.

The rain still came down rather steadily. Filling the old ruin with the echo of each droplet of rain. High above them a single eye peered at them through a small hole in the floor of the offices.

Three beasts. One sleeping hare…one tied ferret...and one very fat fox...it was like they had handed themselves over on a silver platter.

With a hiss the snake began to slither down the stairs. His scales brushed against the side of either wall...

A short distance away, on the edge of the treeline that surrounded Saint Ninan's, Arcturus Broadleaf silently stood sentinel over the building, watching for any movement. For the past three days, he had been on the trail of a certain slaver named Rancell Vane, who had amassed a sizable bounty on his head by the crown of a small vermin kingdom in the south for crimes against its civilians, namely the kidnapping and enslavement of a few dozen villagers in an outlying part of the area.The bounty was so high it had driven the normally reclusive fox out of hiding because of his own bounty, namely for the murder of an aristocrat who had a sizable sum put on on his head by one of his political rivals.

But that was four years ago. Nowadays, he could walk into a tavern without other beasts recognizing him as hunted. Throughout his years in the Eastern Forest, Arcturus had honed his tracking skills, but they were not needed in this case. All signs pointed to the derelict building, crumbling on both the outside and inside. Rumors have been circulating that this decrepit building's played host to a number of scum over the years seeking shelter for the night or from the rain. Seems like this time's no exception. thought the fox as he began to move circuitously towards the abandoned church. The tracks showed that someone had already captured him, but no matter. It would be easy enough to kill the bounty hunter and take the unfortunate slaver to his inevitable demise.

As Arcturus inched towards a window on the church, after running up the hill towards through the tumultuous downpour, a lightening flash in the distance illuminated what appeared to be a long, serpentine silhouette sliding its way down an ornate set of stairs, around 15 feet from three shapes on the floor. Instantaneously the fox froze, terrified of what he had seen. He had only heard rumors about there being snakes in this area, but if it truly was what he thought it was, then whoever was in Saint Ninian's was about to get quite a bump in the night.

Zach

(OOC: Just putting him in the immediate vicinity when Basilisk attacks. Nothing too special about it.)

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