"Don't. Talk. To. Me."
Razor stood silently as the young otter took off after Ole Gus. Perhaps he had read the otter wrong and their teamwork on the battlefield had not been enough to join them as comrades. He didn't know why he expected otherwise.
Still, something felt different as he took up the rear of their group once again. In the beginning of this trek, Ryills had been confident and independent, but seemed to enjoy having company. Now things were far different. Now Ryills seemed to almost hate him. What had happened? He tired to think over the battle that had taken place, but he found himself limited to what had been before him. He had not even given a second glance at Gus, despite having relinquished his weapon for Gus's safety. He had become focused only on the vermin in front of him He had lost track of Ryills and Gus whilst he went on a reckless attack. He was not used to fighting alongside others, and he had treated the battle as if he was fighting alone. Had his selfishness resulted in the near death of one of them?
Gus seemed fine for the most part, but Ryills had been shaken by something. What? He began playing the battle through in his head. Had his initial attack left Ryills open on all sides, forcing the otter to defends himself from too many directions? He had never known how many vermin had been in the gang. He had killed many, but perhaps he had left Ryills to face more than the otter could have mentally handled. The scars on the otters body spoke of battle, though not the imminent death that Razor had faced. However, otters were so much smaller and fragile than a badger. How would he know what was too much for such a beast?
Again, he thought of asking the otter, but the rigid back in front of him stilled his tongue. The otter needed time alone in his head, as Razor did. He touched upon his scarred eye and wiped the fresh blood away. He had not entered the Bloodwrath, of that he was certain. He had heard enough stories to know that if he had been in the Bloodwrath he would have pushed forward past death. He would not have turned to pull his sword out of the tree, but used his claws and teeth to take his enemy with him to Hellgates. What worried him was why he hadn't entered a Bloodwrath? He shook his head at his own ignorance.
"Ahoy, mateys!" Ole Gus called from ahead. Razor looked up to see they had come to a stream bed with a great willow tree standing as a silent sentinel. At the base of the tree was a hole that traveled down. Gus smiled and blew air out the sides of his mouth, making his whiskers flutter. "Welcome to me 'umble abode!" Then he crawled head first down the hole.
Razor studied it and found it just big enough for himself to crawl into. He gave Ryills a look as if to ask what the otter thought, but held his tongue again. Taking a breath, he scrambled down the tunnel and came to rest in a quite sizable room. A small fire was slowly dying in the center, a large black cauldron hanging over. Two beds of grass lay against the far wall, though it looked as if the old otter lived alone.
Gus was at the cauldron, stirring the contents with a gentle paw. He took the spoon up to his lips and gave it a small sip before smacking his lips and chuckling in appreciation. Razor took found an empty spot and sat with his back against the wall, watching the entrance for Ryills.
"Oh this'll be grand!" Gus chuckled to himself. "Now both yew beasts get settled in, an' I'll start tendin' to yer wounds. Jus' let Ole Gus show yer some Gracestream tricks, haharr!"
Razor Rawstripe remained on the ground, looking up at the canopy of branches and leaves that dappled the sun upon him. He took deep, steadying breaths and ignored everything else but his beating heart. He heard the sound of Ryills voice, felt the dull thump of her fists. The sound didn't register as words, the fists didn't register as pain; just a cascade of vibrations that beat a rhythm to his heart. He counted the seconds that his life had been forfeit. One. Two. Three. Four. Four seconds was how long he had stared up at that red pointed sword; red from his own blood. Four seconds was all it took for one to die, or to be saved. He had kept his eye open in defiance of that death. He had seen what Ryills had done.
Finally, he sat up, limbs shaking from the loss of adrenaline and blood. He noticed that Ryills was beside him, eyes wide, fur and hair disheveled. With the hair falling down and shaping the face that way, Ryills looked more feminine. But Razor could not focus on that. His left paw twinged every time he moved it and remembered the blinding pain that had caused his remaining eye to black out. Probably a cut down to the bone, that one. He became aware of how disconnected he was to all the pain, as if looking at some other beasts blood-matted fur, and not his own.
"Badger's be fierce warriors, no doubt." Ole Gus's voice was loud and clear, despite how quietly he spoke. "But y'aint immortal. No beast is." He wasn't laughing anymore. "What'cha done was right foolish, matey."
Razor groaned as he pushed himself to his feet. He was glad that neither of the otters tried to help him or to stop him. He didn't know what he would have done if they had. HE was afraid he would have accepted their help, succumbed to the paws pushing him back down to rest while his wounds were tended to. His pride would not let that happen. He took a step and was frozen in agony. His footpaw had taken a blow from Dregg, but he hadn't noticed the pain until now. Limping, he approached his fallen sword and saw his own blood coating the handle. He picked it up slowly, holding it as if he had never seen it before.
"I don't know what I'm doing." He said aloud. He didn't know if the otters were still there, let alone listening, but he didn't care. He wasn't talking to them. Tears of shame and anger blurred his vision. He blinked them away and growled. "My father made this blade for a warrior, and I am dishonoring his name, his craft, and this blade by wielding it. I'm no warrior. I'm an ignorant pup playing at being a warrior."
He placed a paw across his patched eye. "How can I fight if I can't see half the battlefield?" He began ripping strips from the bottom of his bloodstained tunic, wrapping the blade with the cloth. From the remaining strips he fashioned a loop and tied it off to the hilt of the blade before pulling the loop under his left arm and over his head to rest upon his right shoulder. With the task done, he turned back to see the two otters standing where he had left them. Ole Gus watched him with those unseeing eyes. With the hair concealing Ryills eyes, Razor could not tell of the young otter was looking at him. Were those tears he saw?
"May'aps yer too young an' ine'sperienced fer such a weapon, yet." Gus agreed softly. "May'aps ye need a smaller weapon ye can control."
Razor thought those words over before waliking past the otters to the dead stoat, Dregg. His broadsword lay beside his cooling corpse. Razor picked the blade up. It was of average craft, but it felt balanced enough in his paws. He took a few practice swings. It felt almost natural. He could fight better with this weapon than he could with his greatsword. Without a word, he slid the blade through his rope belt so it sat at his hip.
"I have a lot to learn." He said grudgingly.
"Aye, ye do." Ole Gus said. "But yer young, yet. Ye 'ave time." Then the old otter clapped his paws together loudly, startling Razor. "Now, methingks this liddle distraction 'as served its purpose, haharr. C'mon young'uns! Me kettle'll be burnin' soon iffen we don't 'urry! An' the faster we get there, the sooner we can tend t'yer wounds, both of you's! Haharr!"
As Ole Gus continued on his way, Razor took the time to study Ryills closer. Something had happened and had got Ryills very upset. He didn't understand. He remembered the hammering of fists into him, shouting into his face, though the words were lost to him. What had happened? Had Ryills been afraid he was dead? Had they known each other long enough to have that strong of a bond? Razor didn't know, but he knew he was suddenly very worried about his young otter companion.
"Let's get some food, Ryills." He said softly, trying to ease the otter out of whatever had happened.
I'd have to say wolf too. Nothing to do with heritage, but I've just always found them so fascinating. My first ever school book report was on White Fang. There's something spiritual about them, I feel. Similar to how I feel about horses. Beyond that, they are just awesome. The pack survives and the lone wolf perishes. I think that reflects a lot with human society and outcasts. They speak to us just by their existence.
I'm blabbing now, and I don't know if any of that really made sense. Just my feelings.
Razor hoped that Ryills had a plan, because Razor didn't. He kept his eye on the leader, Dregg, but his target was the one before him, Slaptail. Without a sound, Razor rushed forward and swung his paw with all his might. Slaptail looked up in surprise only to have his life snuffed out when Razor's paw crashed into the side of his head, breaking his neck on impact. As the dead stoat toppled to the side, Razor reached down with one paw and grabbed hold of the handle of his sword, bringing it up into his other paw and charging the leader.
Argus Gracestream felt the tickle of two blades at his throat. Well, one was a little more than a tickle now. He just kept smiling. He felt the vermin shifting to his left. Then a voice that Argus identified as a weasel began to complain.
"Why ain't yew blubberin' ol' timer, eh?"
"Yeh," the voice of the vermin to his right - a rat - grumbled stupidly. "Ee ain't shakin' or pleadin' or nuttin'."
"Mayhaps he's scared stiff, eh cully?" The weasel suggested.
"Oh aye." The rat agreed happily. "Tha' must be et."
Argus guessed that the leader was the only capable thinking beast of the whole lot. That was generally how it worked. The leader had done a fine job of planning this little ambush, using the old, frail looking otter as hostage. Yep, it all might have worked too, if the rest of the gang weren't complete idiots. They had never relieved him of his javelin, seeing it as a harmless walking stick in the paws of such an old beast. Even if it had been a stick and not a steel javelin, they would have been just as foolish to not remove their captive of his only visible weapon.
As a battle commenced, lead on by Ryills rather truthful - he was sure - insults, his captives took the time thinking about what was going on and what they should do to their hostage. Argus slipped his javelin up between himself and the rats arm, before pushing outward and quickly slapping the wrist to paralyze the paw so the knife dropped. The rat let out a confused yelp and the weasel shifted to end the life of Argus Gracestream. But the rat wasn't holding the otter anymore, and that was all the opening he needed. He bent his body backwards, the knife blade cutting his skin, but doing no more than leaving a red line. With the needed space between him and the weasel he leveled his javelin at his hip as if it were a spear and thrust the blunt end forward, into the weasels gut, knocking the wind from him.
The rat had begun to gather himself, huffing and puffing with pain as he came for the otter. All that noise was like painting a picture for where to strike. Argus brought his javelin down between the rats undoubtedly dirty ears. There was a thump as the rat hit the earth, out cold.
Argus laughed and twirled his javelin. "Gracestreeeaam!" He called out his old war cry. "Haharr! Send 'em t' the Deeps, matey's!"
A force slammed into Razors shoulder and he stumbled to a stop. He looked to see an arrow buried into his shoulder, red blood welling from the wound and clotting up in his fur. Feeling his anger rise, he let out a tremendous roar and pulled the arrow out with a single pull, the pain deadened by his rage. He had heard of badgers going into a bloodwrath, though he had never experienced it. He didn't know if he was now, but it didn't matter. He turned to the archer only to see an axe wielding rat charging him. With a broad sweep of his sword he cut the head of the axe from its wooden haft. The rat stopped dead, staring dumbly at the remaining half of his weapon. Razor took that moment to bring his sword down onto the rat, splitting him at an angle from shoulder to hip. Razor tasted blood and he decided he wanted more. With another great roar he leaped into a group of four vermin, including the archer, swinging his sword wildly from side to side.
Shaking his head to clear his eye of the blood, Razor turned back in time to see the stoat Dregg approaching him. Razor was surprised to see that the stoat held his broadsword like he knew how to use it. Still, the stoat was weary after seeing a badger swinging such a large sword and cutting down his gang rather easily. But Razor had to admit he was impressed that the stoat did not back down or run away. Razor didn't know the finer points of sword fighting, so he kept to what he was good at: swinging wildly. He rushed forward giving a battle cry.
He swung to behead the stoat and put an end to the entire fight. The stoat was fast and easily dodged the wild, uncontrolled attack. Before Razor could redirect his weapon to swing back at his enemy, Dregg struck like a snake and Razor felt a pain in his side. The broadsword came back tipped with blood. Dregg backed out of Razors swing once again, a confident smirk fueling Razors rage.
He decided to go a different tactic and started drawing figure eights with his swords, slowly pushing the stoat back toward a tree. If he could get the stoat to back into the tree, catch him by surprise… He would only get one opening. Just as he planned the stoats back hit the tree and he lowered his sword in surprise. With a roar Razor leaped forward and swung at the stoats head. Dregg ducked the attack and the greatsword bit deep into the tree. Razor tried to pull it out but it was stuck.
The stoat took the opportunity to slip around Razor and slash at his foot. Razor howled and let go of his sword, leaving it embedded into the tree. He faced the stoat, raising his paws warily. Dregg chuckled and licked at the blood on his blade before going back on the attack. Razor used his paws to defend his face and body, grunting as the sword bit into his paws, leaving wide gashes into his fur. One strike made his eye black out in pain. Desperate now, he turned around and gripped the hilt of his sword, pulling it with all his might. The sword pulled free and he swung around just in time to deflect a killing blow. The force of his deflection sent the stoat stumbling back, barely keeping a grip on his sword.
Razor had never been in such a battle before. His heart pounded and he truly feared for his life. But he also hungered for blood and victory. He began his assault again, wildly swinging, occasionally thrusting to throw the stoat off balance. Despite his flurry of attacks he was slowing down and the stoat didn't seem to miss a step. His paws were covered in blood from their scars and his grip on the sword started to slip. The stoat backed over a root and stumbled. Razor took another swing to kill the stoat but the sword slipped from his paws and went sailing behind him. Razor was panting with exhaustion, too tired even to look where his sword might have gone. Was this his end? Would he die without a weapon in his hand?
"You need to be strong, Razor." His father's voice drummed between his ears. "You must become strong enough to lead this tribe. I won't be around forever. You are my son and it is your birthright. To be chieftain is your duty."
The memory of the pain in his left eye became far more powerful than all the open wounds that throbbed in agony. He became lost in that pain, his missing eye becoming an abyss that slowly sucked up all the pain throughout his body, focusing it on one point so he could see, move his legs forward, lift his arms up. He had not weapon, but if he was to die, he would take this stoat with him. Blood from his old scar spilled into his open mouth.
Pain burst into his back and he fell to his knees, reaching back to feel another arrow shaft sticking out. From the peripheral of his good eye he saw a vermin with a spear swinging at his head. He grunted and pushed himself toward the attacking vermin, a weasel. He used his shoulder to break the spear. Splinters dug into his skin but the spearhead spun past him harmlessly. He continued forward, shoving his shoulder into the weasels nose. Blood and snot. The weasel stumbled back ward, head raised to the sky, stunned. Razor swung his paw in and uppercut, smashing his fist into the weasels chin. The weasel lifted off the ground and slammed his back into a nearby tree. The was a loud crack and the vermin slumped down in a sitting position. Though the weasel looked to be sleeping, Razor knew he would never wake up.
Razor turned to meet the stoat Dregg. A flash of light was his only warning. He arched his head backwards, feeling the wind tickle his nose as the tip of the stoats broadsword just missed him. But Razor had overextended himself, and he lost his balance, falling on his back. Dregg smiled triumphantly as he raised his sword for a killing blow.
"Wif yer death, I'll be knowed as Dregg Dogsbane! Herrherr!"
Edit: Another ? issue. Annoying…
"Even though we are different ages and different species, somehow we always end up together, I s'pect we all were lonely for a while 'n craved some company."
Razor thought over the words as they continued to follow the old blind otter - who seemed to be in a deep conversation with himself, muttering and shaking his head, then laughing, then muttering some more.
What would conspire to bring these three together? Sure, Ryills and Gus were both otters, but that was where the similarities ended. Gus was old and broken, his time had come and gone and now he was simply a lonely beast who probably spent most of his time looking for company. Ryills seemed to be a loner, though he had agreed to follow Gus and seemed content with Razor's company. He didn't seem to be dependent on anybeast and could look after himself. Razor himself yearned for such company, but he knew he would be on his own in due time. Did he want to get to know these otters, only to part ways once again?
"How much father?" Ryills words cut through Razor's ponderings. He looked up to see Gus stopping before an old oak tree, prodding at it with his javelin.
"Haharr! Not much farther, I'd say, matey!" Ole Gus called back to Ryills, prodding at the roots of the oak. He scratched at his rump and turned back to them, smiling mischievously. "Up on ahead, young rogues!" He called, continuing his marching. "No stoppin' 'till ye see them weepin' trees!"
Weeping trees? Willows? If so, then Gus's den must be near a river. Razor was mildly curious. They had been traveling slightly south and east, as Razor reckoned. If he was correct, then the river that had fed the stream they had met at would be near their destination. He was very much looking forward to if he had been correct.
"Halt!" A voice barked out from the right. "An' don't nobeast do nuthin' stoopid."
Suddenly, two figures came out from behind a tree and grabbed the blind otter, holding his frail form between them. Razor recognized the two as a rat and a weasel. Nothing he hadn't faced before. He felt himself grinning at the prospect of battle. His grip tightened on his sword. The pair of vermin revealed wicked looking knives and held them tight against their captive's throat.
"Now, now, stripeydog, yer wuddent want nuttin' t'appen t'the old'un, wudd'jer?" A tall brown stoat stepped out of his hiding spot. He wore dirty grey leggings tied up with what looked like an assortment of cloth strips tied together into a makeshift belt. A necklace of fish bones hung from his neck and a small green cloak hung down to his midriff. In his grimy paws he held the haft of an old, battered broadsword of plain design.
Razor raised his greatsword in both paws and took a battle stance, teeth bared in a silent snarl. The stoat did not seem worried. He pointed his sword at Razor. "Put dat sword down, stripey dog, affore yer see da color o' dissun's innards."
On cue the rat captor pressed his knife until a drop of red ran down the blade. Razor made a vocal snarl this time, but once again, the stoat appeared not to notice. Razor thought he heard Ryills gasp softly, but he wasn't certain. He did hear the shuffling and sniggering around him and knew they were surrounded. He couldn't tell how many, but he saw three more vermin from his position and limited vision. One of them, a fox, he thought, had a bow with arrow notched and drawn. He hoped not many more had bows.
Gritting his teeth in defeat, he let his greatsword drop to the earth with a thump. The stoat grinned, showing his crooked yellow teeth. "Good. Yer not as stoopid as yer look." He sniggered at that and the others took it up. "Slaptail, bring me da stripey dogs sword! An' yew, riverdog, don' be thinkun we ain't seen yew. Drop yer weapons!"
Razor kept his gaze upon the stoat, though he couldn't help feeling a bit of amusement as a stoat with a somewhat flattened tail walked up and tried to lift the greatsword. He grunted and heaved, but he couldn't even drag it.
"Too heavy, Dregg!" The stoat complained to his leader.
OOC: Since Ryills is going to initiate the fight, best take on some of the beasts that will be on Razor's blind side at first. Ignore the captors, Argus will be fine.
Edit: Damn copy/paste turned " into ?.
OOC: Last one from me tonight. Thanks for the help so far, T.J.!
Razor hoped he masked his disappointment well. Seen more in life than he had, had he? Well, that was probably true. Despite hailing from the Highlands, Razor had never even seen the ocean. Still, he didn't like being shown up to be as ignorant as he was. He wondered if he should feign knowledge of the seas to impress the otter, but thought better of it. This Ryills didn't seem to have missed much about him so far.
"Afraid I've never been to the sea." Razor answered honestly. He found it hard to switch from turning his head to look down at the confident otter and keeping on eye on the one leading them. "Why are we letting a blind beast lead us?" He asked suddenly. "What does that say about us?"
"Blind leadin' the blind, I 'spect." Ole Gus called out from ahead, still chuckling to himself as he lead them around trees, hardly seeming to use that steel javelin to test where he was going anymore. Razor began to worry if they had made the right choice in following this odd beast.
Edit: Typo that bugged me.
Razor sighed and shook his head. He had made his decision and he would stick with it. Taking up position behind the two otters, the badger studied them with a critical eye. He was no stranger to kindness among goodbeasts, and from what he remembered, otters were indeed goodbeasts. Warriors too, some of them. The old male looked like he had been through countless battles. He hadn't even seen a badger with so many marks of war. But now that he was truly paying attention, the younger male looked like he knew his way around in a skirmish. He had never had the company of other warriors before. Perhaps this interruption wouldn't be so bad. He was just about to speak when Ole Gus began singing.
Gonna sail me way from west t'east
An' stick me paws inter broader sands
A Holt ye'll find fer rest an' feast
Gracesteam, they calls it an' so it stands
Here Ole Gus did a small hop and skip, nearly making Ryills trip over his tail. Razor stifled a smile. When Ole Gus began singing again, it was to a different beat and tune.
But a home is home
is where Imma goin'
Tho blind as bees knees
Ole Gus'll tells what ee sees!
Ole Gus began cackling again, as if he made a joke. Razor waited a time before realizing that the old otter was done with his songs. He closed the distance to the younger otter.
"Ryills, did you call yourself?" He asked. "I'm Razor Rawstripe. Sorry for the treatment before, I didn't mean to scare you." That was completely untrue, but he figured it would be best if the otter thought otherwise.
Argus Gracestream chuckled at the otter's threat before whispering back, "Fat lot ye know, matey. I ain't seen a sunset fer 'alf me life!" His chuckling grew to great heights, and he was slapping his knees. Suddenly, he stopped and gave a wink to the young otter and snatched the flask from her. "Lass, matey, what'd Ole blind Gus know, eh?"
Razor didn't hear the initial exchange but assumed the younger otter had made a point to let the older one know what they had in common. But that wasn't important, as he watched in confusion as Ole Gus stabbed his staff into the earth to free both his paws. He let the contents of the flask pour a few meager drops onto his paw before dabbing it on his tongue. He smacked his lips and his drooping whiskers lifted slightly as he smiled.
"Reminds an' ole soul o' them bygone days. Aye." He put handed the flask back to…Ryills, did the otter say his name was?
Ole Gus pulled his staff out of the ground and only then did Razor see that it had been shaped to a point. It was a spear, or a javelin of some making. The old creature held it so the point touched the ground. Razor had to rub his head. This day was becoming more and more bizarre. He couldn't claim he wasn't curious, but couldn't help but feel even more of an outcast as these two obvious outcasts chummed it up and he was left out. Not that he had done much to be let in. He figured the damage was done and he'd best start his day now that he wasn't going to get peace around here.
Suddenly his stomach growled. And he felt his ears heat up in embarrassment. He tried to walk away, hoping the two creatures had not heard.
"Now that be a sound I know well, aye." Ole Gus called out, stopping Razor in midstep. "Why don'tcha both foller me to the den o' Ole Gus. Ain't too far, mind ye. Got summat warmin' on a fire. Ain't never had it afore, glad I found two beasts to test it on."
Razor slowly turned around to see the back of Ole Gus, shuffling away, seemingly unconcerned whether he was being followed or not. Or expecting them to. The badger glanced at Ryills, deciding that if the otter would go, so would Razor.
OOC: Sarcastic and rude, just what this lump needs. Also, now introducing Argus Gracestream.
Razor couldn't help but take a step back from the way the otter carried on as if he wasn't a threat. He had not met an otter, to be sure, but he had thought the difference in their sizes alone would be enough to make the otter wary. He steadied himself and kept himself still, watching her move around him with his good eye. He had taken the creature for a female, for the size alone, but how would he know the size of a male otter? He had never met another beast as large as a badger, so what did he have to compare this beast to? He studied the way the otter walked, talked, dressed. He decided that it didn't matter if the otter was male, female, or a sparrow in disguise.
As the otter offered a small flask to him, he snarled. Such a small creature to be acting so…unafraid of a badger. His blood began to boil, he would have to teach this otter a lesson from a Highland badger!
"I don't need anything you would offer to me, seadog!" Razor growled, baring his teeth.
"Iff'n the stripdog don't want none, Ole Gus'd be more'n 'appy to sample yore offerin's" A slightly ragged voice chimed in.
Razor spun around, weapon ready for battle for the second time in such a short time. Another otter? But this otter was old and frail, bowed with the weight of season, fur grey. The most distinguishing marks were the scars that covered the otters body, all old and faded, but clearly visible through the fading fur. The otter leaned against a metal staff of skillful design. Steel. Razor thought. And by the sound of the voice alone, this was a male otter.
The otter didn't wait for an answer before shuffling closer, using the staff to prod the ground before him until he reached the other otter. He inhaled the air through his nose as if smelling a flower. "Ole Gus won't be takin' no fer an answer, lass." He gave a soft cackle as if he had made a joke "Go on an' give a feller seadog summat to warm 'is bones!
And then Razor saw the glazed eyes and realized that the old otter was completely blind.
Nickname: Gus / Ole Gus
Full Name: Argus Gracestream
Species: Sea Otter
Wife: Janura (Deceased)
Unnamed Daughter (Deceased)
"Marm" the Hedgehog (Deceased)
Bent and frail with age, most of his fur has gone gray. Covered in scars. His rudder-like tail is broken and hangs at an awkward angle. He is blind and uses his steel javelin as a walking stick.
- Dark green, long-sleeved tunic
- Worn out leather cap
- Seashell necklace
- Steel javelin
- Wisdom of experience
- Other senses compensate for blindness
- Physical deterioration due to age
- Burdened by guilt
The loss of his family and his vengeance had already left him mentally scarred and a bit insane. After becoming blind, he descended further into madness. With the help of "Marm" the blind old hedgehog, he has grown to accept his loss of sight, if not the loss of his family and home. He is more lucid than he used to be, though he still falls off the wagon at times, though he seems to have embraced the fact that he is a broken creature, and even jokes about it to himself and others.
He loves nothing more than to hear laughter, and will often to outlandish things just to hear a small chuckle. One of his favorites is to talk in and out of the third person. He is very protective of babes if he meets any, and will often call them his own children in place of his lost daughter. He knows his area of the Woodlands better than any other beast despite his blindness, and he knows how to defend himself, through his other senses to compensate for his handicap.
He prefers a solitary life, even though he enjoys the time spent with other beasts, he will move along or move them along, not wanting to be a burden, or to grow too attached that he can?t let them go. The guilt of his past hangs over him constantly, though he hides the pain with jokes and eccentric behavior.
Once a great leader and chieftain of Holt Gracestream of the eastern coasts. He was a fierce warrior and wielded a specialized javelin made completely of steel that had belonged to his father. He lead his tribe through many grand victories against vermin of sea and land. He was popular with the females, but only had eyes for Janura. Soon they were married and she heavy with child. But Argus was far too free spirited to be tied down at home, and so he took a band of his best warriors and patrolled the coastlands, keeping watch for any vermin pirates.
As his daughter was being born, Argus found a shipwrecked stoat. They set about reviving the beast so they could interrogate him. Argus was a fierce and stubborn otter, and he had no time for nonsense where vermin were concerned. The stoat held out longer than the otter chieftain had expected, but on the second day, he sang. The words cast a dreadful image in all the otter's minds. Holt Gracestream had been located and a raid was in motion. Spitting oaths at the stoats face, Argus shook the beast until his neck broke. With haste he led his small company back home. He tried to calm himself down by reminding himself that he had left plenty of strong and able warriors to defend the Holt. His fears cemented as they saw black smoke in the sky. Seeing red, Argus charged ahead of the others, paws itching to take the life of any vermin he saw.
The Holt was a ruin; homes charred from fire, otters laying dead in the sands. Not all were dead though, about a third of the remaining warriors remained, none sparred a fresh wound. Many of the little ones and the mothers had been spared as well, though many had not. Somehow, as he looked at the scattered bodies, he knew what he would find as he made his way to his hut. He walked as if in a dream, his limbs felt heavy and his eyes refused to accept what they saw. His men left him alone to bury the bodies of his wife and daughter, who he had never seen alive. Without a word to any of the warriors, he left.
He had learned the name of the pirate scum who had done this horrendous deed. Argus knew where they would be after such a victory. He swam to a distant cove that vermin had taken to holing up in. He saw the black sails and knew he had guessed correctly. The vermin had taken heavy casualties as well, their numbers thinned to a score, but their leader, a big fat rat with gold rings in a flamboyant beard claimed that he knew where to pick up more fodder for the crew. The vermin were all to drunk to take the remark as an offence. Argus was silent and singular in his purpose. It took a few deaths, but the vermin eventually took up arms to defend themselves. They were drunk and sloppy, he was cold and determined. Not a single vermin lived that night.
Argus returned to the Holt with the head of the rat, covered in scars that cried streams of blood, the salt water having done nothing to help close the wounds. He never said anything to them and after giving them the head, he turned away and never returned, taking only his javelin and the seashell necklace he had found on around his daughter?s neck.
One night, after seasons of wandering in exile, Argus came across a small settlement of goodbeasts who were being terrorized by a band of vermin. A ferret was the leader, and he wielded a fierce blade shaped like a crescent moon that reflected torchlight ominously. Argus challenged the ferret. He was more skilled than the vermin leader, but he was reckless in his need to redeem himself. When the ferret saw that he was beat, he tossed aside his sword and grabbed a torch and threw it in Argus?s face. The heat and the light was too much and he was blinded. The darkness was a new enemy that Argus didn't know how to fight. The vermin ganged up on him in his weakened state and he felt the bites of several weapons all about his body, even his tail took a heavy strike from a blunted weapon. But he refused to die, and went on a mad attack swinging his javelin each and every way. Luck was his that night, as he slew the ferret with a hefty blow to the head. With their leader dead, the rest of the vermin fled the mad otter.
The goodbeasts he had saved tended to his wounds and took care of him. After a few days, it was clear that his vision would never return. He was lost in the dark abyss that only he could see. It drove him to maddened nightmares and spiteful awakenings. The goodbeasts were kind and understanding, but eventually he became far too bitter and was asked to leave. Once again, Argus was alone.
He battled his madness the only way he could: by talking. He talked to himself, the trees, and anyone who might be listening, telling about his son, and how he was going to be a great chieftain one day. One day his ramblings were interrupted by a hedgehog who barked at him to quiet down as she was trying to sleep. The hedgehog turned out to be blind as well, though she was far more accustomed to the situation than he was. After hearing his tale, the hedgehog agreed to teach him how to live a blind life. They became fast friends, the hedgehog taking to calling him "Gus".
He never learned the hedgehog's name (having just called her Marm), but he still cried for her when she eventually passed away in her sleep, leaving him alone in the dark again. But he took her training to heart and refused to let the darkness win. He kept up with the training imposed on him by the hedgehog and even learned to fight to some degree, using his javelin as not only a weapon, but a way to survey his surroundings. He learned to smell a tree before him so he could sidestep it. He learned to taste the moss to know which direction he was heading. He learned to recognize the feel of the suns rays as it made its way through the day. He learned to recognize the sound of the river and which way it flowed. In the passing years, no beast knew his neck of Mossflower Woods better than the blind gray back otter.
Argus Gracestream was created with a similar, if more tragic back story to my badger, Razor Rawstripe, because I plan for them to meet and for Razor to learn how to use his limited eyesight to his advantage. If anyone's RP is taking place in Mossflower Woods and you would like Argus Gracestream to be a quirky side-character - I am very open to this - let me know through PM. Thanks.