Walking along a path, early in the nice cool evening, Katie sighed as she walked home. Her clothes had spots of blood, but not of her blood. No she had the pleasure of fixing up some stupid vermin after getting into an altercation with a much stronger woodlander after trying to rob or kill said woodlander.

‘what stupid things, vermin are…’ She though to herself as she wiped her brow with her arm. It wasn’t lone vermin that frightened her, in fact they didn’t scare her at all. She was far more smarter then any she had met before, and besides, if they don’t take her help, they’d be left to bleed out and die from their wounds.
It was groups of vermin, or even worse, hoards that she was frightened of. Just for the fact there are more of them, than there are of her. Her life would depend on making their ally or even chief better.
She didn’t care much for woodlanders but would help them if they asked. Most just talk about her behind her back and refuse to pay her for her jobs, because of her fox-like markings.
An upside for dealing mostly with vermin is that they never learn and will likely keep coming back for help after losing a fight.

Stopping along side the River Moss, she knelt down at the bank to clean herself off before getting home to make some food. “What at day…” She said to herself as she washed her paws of then splashed water at her face, she smiled at her reflection. Her smile soon faded as she seen another figure in the reflection, though with the current of the water mixed with the ripples she had just made, she wasn’t sure who it was, as the figure was just a blur in the water. “…May…May I help you?” She asked, closing her eyes as she remains still, her paws and face still drip-dropping water back into the river.

Loot was beside himself. Work tonight had been very good and he had managed to take many shiny things from the silly woodland bumpkins!

"Boss lizard will reward Loot," The newt gurgled happily as he hurried along through the woods, dragging his over-sized brown sack behind him which was heavily weighed down with the things he had stolen.

"Boss lizard will be so pleased. He will have to give Loot lots of yum yummies. Loot is so clever! Stupid hairy wood beasts not catch meee! Shinnies are mine! Hee hee hee! "

The newt did a sloppy, skipping dance as he ran and so caught up in his dreams of rewards was Loot that he failed to notice the larger beast he had stumbled into unintentionally.

The thieving newt ran smack dab into Katie's tail end and stumbled backwards, dropping his sack and falling over onto his rump. The contents of his bag spilled out on the grass. Cups, silverware, dishes, jewelry, picture frames and just about anything one could think of that was shiny.

When he heard the giant speak, the newt began to panic, " Loot is sorry. Please don't eat! Loot does not taste good .He does not look where he is going. He is sorry. Loot pick up Loot's things and he will be out of your way.  " Hastily , the newt scrambled to stuff his goods back into his bag.

ooc- Is this open? It looked lonely so I decided to post here if that is okay.

( ooc - yes, it's open. 🙂 )

"Oh. Are you OK?" Katie asked him, tilting her head. She hasn't seen anything like him before.
"Eat you?" She asked with a laugh. "Why would I eat you?" She said getting up from the bank of the stream. "Here, let me help you." She said with a smile.

"What are all these things for?" She asked looking at the objects as he quickly put them back in his pack.
The squirrel-maid was eyeing the newt. It was an odd collection that he had in his bag. And only for that reason did she feel uneasy about him.

Loot paused to look up at the larger creature when she asked him a question. He blinked his large, beady eyes at her, “ Loot is not hurting. “ He clung tenaciously to his newly acquired possessions and eyed Katie with suspicion. “ Presents for friends!” He said, his voice coming off extremely defensive.

It was a lie , of course, but he was afraid to tell her the truth. She might hurt him or worse. She might take his shiny things away and give them back to the stupid beasts that he had stolen them from. Loot knew that he could not return to the big boss lizard without any loot. If he did, he would be in very big trouble.

He watched her anxiously as she moved to help him pick up the stolen items. What if she took something for herself? He held out a shaky hand and looked up at her, expecting her to give them to him.

“Thank you ,nice beast.” With his things returned to him, the thieving newt relaxed but only a little. The small amphibious lizard seemed constantly on edge. “Loot is very grateful. “

ooc- ^^

Katie smile at him. "Oh. So it that where you are going in such a rush. To give these…gifts...to friends?" She asked him, tilting her head. Not only did he look odd, but he acted odd as well.

She look at his hand and nodded, handing the fallen objects back to him. "It's no problem at all. Oh...I'm Katie. What's you're name?" She asked sitting in a patch of grass, looking at him.

"Yes, yes! Loot gives to friends!" The newt agreed with a great many enthusiastic nods. When all of his things were reclaimed, Loot slung the heavy sack over his shoulder. It was almost larger than he was!

"Katie." Loot repeated, blinking his beady eyes slowly, "Katie is name tree mouse has? Loot was given name too. Loot is Loot. Happy to meet you, nice Katie tree mouse. " The amphibian held out a skinny arm, offering his  hand to shake.

A sudden rustling in the bushes startled the newt. Even more startling was the big ugly rat that came stumbling out of the foliage, "Where is 'e!? I swear when I get me paws on that rotten lil thief, I'll break his scrawny neck!"

Loot could have easily escaped this whole mess by disappearing into the water. The only problem was that he couldn't swim with the heavy load he was carrying.He could not run nor could he fight the rat.

He refused to go home empty-handed. And so, Loot did the only thing he could, he hid behind Katie before the rat could find him.

The rat's mean yellow eyes found Katie now, "Yew! 'Ave yew seen a lizard carryin' a big bag come through 'ere?"

Katie laughed a little at the Newt. "Yes, Katie is my name. And it's nice to meet you, Loot." She said with a soft smile. That was a name she wouldn't soon forget. Not many, if at all, have a name quite like that.
She looked up as the rat emerged from the bushes. Turning her head, she had seen Loot hiding behind her. She turned back to the rat as he spoke to her.

The squirrel-maid folded her arms at the rat, looking at him. "That depends…Why are you looking for a lizard?" She asked him as Loot hid behind her.

The rat gave the squirrel an incredulous look. It appeared as though he thought she’d asked him the most ridiculous question., “ Why?” He growled, “Why?! I’ll tell yer why. The lil’ scaly rogue robbed me! That’s why I’m wantin’ ter find him!” His yellow eyes suddenly became suspicious, “You better not be hidin’ him !”

Behind Katie, Loot trembled but his fear of the rat was much less than his fear of his boss.  He gripped one of her arms and whimpered pathetically, “Nice Katie don’t let mean rat hurt Loot. Please nice Katie?”

"Why would I hide anyone?" Katie said resting her hands on her hips. "I've see something swim across the water. That might of been him, though I'm not too sure…." She answered the rat., watching him.

She wasn't going to hand Loot over the the rat. If he did in fact steal at least some of his objects from the rat, then she was going to get to the bottom of it.
Friends, eh? He's stealing things for his friends?… She though to herself. If that's the story he was sticking to, then she would follow him and figure it out for herself.

Fortunately for Katie, the rat inquisitor wasn't the brightest. He ran past her and, without so much as a thought, he splashed into the river.

As soon as the rat's back was to them and he was well out of ear-shot, a relieved Loot extracted himself from behind the squirrel. "That was close a close one! Thank you, Katie! "

The newt looked around nervously. The sun was starting to set which meant that he was running out of time, " It was nice meeting you. Loot must go home now before the sun sleeps or Loot is in big trouble." He nodded and started off on his way.

Katie smiled, watching the rat leave and make his way across the river. She looked down at Loot as he spoke. "…No problem!" She said happly, and then watched him leave.

The only difference between the rat and the newt is that she started to follow the newt. She wanted to make sure if was telling her the truth about his items, or if the rat was right and he stole them. She followed Loot, making sure to keep back far enough so that he didn't notice her.

Most creatures might not have been as naive or oblivious as Loot was. After bidding Katie farewell, he made his way slowly walking along the River Moss towards the heart of Mossflower.

Sveral minutes passed in silence, Loot grew bored and broke out into song.

"Loot is a newt who comes and goes
All beasts had best be wary!
For if you let your guard down
It is very scary!
One day you'll find your whiskers gone
And trust me that's only the beginning!
Look away again and you'll be sorry my friend
Cause next time you will look silly!
One morning you will wake and gaze into the mirror
And to your shock you will find a very different critter!
Your tail will be shaved, your teeth will be gone and your fur painted green!
And if Loot comes to visit again, your tongue will go missing too!
Loot is the bestest thief
He quick, agile and mean.
All you beasts be wary cause Loot's the best thief that no beast's seen! "

It wasn't a very good poem and its rehearsal of it was quite terrible but Loot was terribly proud of it and he did a hop-skipping dance as he made his way along the river, " That is nice poem, Loot. Yes, yes. You are such a clever newt. Thank you." He gurgled happily at his own self-compliments.

After a few moments , the newt broke away from the riverbank and entered the thick of the woods, carefully following  what seemed to be an invisible path. Every now and then the newt would pause to inspect the bark of a tree.  On closer inspection of each tree the newt stopped at, they'd find that the bark had been stripped away by something with claws.

"I hope Boss is happy with shinnies I bring back. " Loot continued talking to himself. He came to a clearing and paused at the edge of the woods, staring ahead.

Before him there was a small body of the cleanest pond one had ever seen with verdant greenery and sparkling waters.  Seated on log near the pond was an enormous lizard with cruel black eyes and pale green scales.

"Loot! You are late!" The enormous lizard growled as the newt approached.

Loot was very small before the other and he cowered in fear, "Loot is sorry, boss! Loot run into trouble!"

"No excusssssssse!" The larger lizard snarled and pointed a thick ebon claw at the bag Loot was carrying. "Empty it. Let me ssssssee what you brought."

Loot dumped the contents of the bag on the grass before the log. "See?" The newt held up a wine glass and admired how its clean surface sparkled in the light. "Loot bring you shinies! Lots!"

The big lizard slithered down from his rock to inspect the stolen goods. "Thissss issss nothing but junk!"

"N-no! It isn't! " The newt began to protest but then his employer rose up onto his hind legs and dealt the smaller lizard a blow that sent the smaller amphibian stumbling back onto his tail.

"JUNK! " The big lizard roared and , "Worthlesssss! I want shiny stonnnesssss!"

"B-but Loot doesss not know where to get shiny stones! And that was not part of the agreement. " The newt sobbed.

"The agreement has changed. I protect you from vermin, I let you stay here, I feed you. You cannot have ssssomething for nothing, you know. I do all the work and what do you do for me? Hm? You alwayssss bring me junk! I make ssssssimple requesssst and you alwaysss fail me.  Maybe I sssshould eat you!" He moved to loom over Loot, casting an ominous shadow over the other.

"No! Loot would never do that! Loot is sorry! He will try harder! Please don't eat me!" He begged.

'So the rat was telling the truth…' Katie thought to herself as she followed Loot. She decided to keep following him, if she were to confront him now, she feared he might get away.

She watched Loot take the stuff over to the bigger lizard. 'So it's not his fault. He's being bullied' She thought, biting her lip, unsure of what to do.
Finally she emerged from her hiding  spot. "Hey, you! Leave him alone. Pick on someone your own size!" She yelled at the bigger lizard, getting between him and Loot.

The big lizard raised his fore claws. His cruel yellow eyes narrowed with ruthless intent , but when he heard the cry of another creature he halted his offensive and turned his head in the direction of the voice, “What isssss thissss? “  He demanded and glared at the squirrel maid in front of him, his long black forked tongue flicking in her face.

Loot was surprised to see that Katie had followed him here and with the squirrel maid standing between him and danger, the smaller lizard’s cowardice shrunk a little. “Mukariss this is Katie nice squirrel. She helped me out of trouble to bring you shinnies. “

The large lizard was not as tall as Katie was but he was twice her weight, his pale scaly hide bulging with thickly corded muscle. The lizard seemed suspicious but he did take a step back. A true bully, Mukariss didn’t want a fight. He nodded his head and turned away. “ Issss not what I wasss expecting but it will do, Loot.  “

Loot exhaled deeply., relieved that his boss was appeased. He had no idea that Mukariss was simply putting on act and fully intended to make the newt pay later. Mukariss lowered himself to all fours and stalked back to sit atop his log but he kept his watch on Katie, “ Thank you for helping my ssssservant.” He hissed, feigning gratitude. In the back of the lizard’s twisted mind, he thought of tearing her throat out with his claws and gnawing on her bones.

“What is Katie doing here? “ Loot turned to the squirrel and looked up at her.

Katie narrowed her eyes at Mulariss, her eyes never leaving him until he was back on that rock, away from both her and Loot.
She turned and smiled down at loot. "Helping you, so it seems." She said and started to walk away, indicating for Loot to follow.

"You better be happy to receive what Loot has brought you, because it is the last time you will get anything from him. He is no longer your…servant..." She rolled her eyes then looked down at Loot. "You're free. And the first thing we are going to do is find that rat and you're going to apologise and explain why."
She didn't care about any bully. She knew a few regulars who would come to her to heal up after a bully hurt them.

"Loot is free? " The little newt looked up at Katie with confusion in his beady black eyes. It took him a few moments to process this newly acquired information before it dawned on him, " Really? Loot steal for boss lizard no more?"

Hearing this declaration of his subject's emancipation, Mulkariss hissed and turned his angry eyes on the troublesome squirrel, " If you leave, you can never come back!"

Loot hid behind Katie and clung to one of her legs, shivering. " But Loot has no place to go! If Loot does not do what big lizard says, then he cannot stay at nice pond. Where would Loot go if not here? "

ooc- I'm sorry that I took so long. The holidays are a busy time for me and then I took some time trying to figure out what the heck happened to the site, lol. Glad I found it again because I had the old SMF address bookmarked and that kept showing up as a blank page. ><;

Katie turned to the bigger lizard with a frown. "This is not you're pond. Loot can come and go as he pleases, along with any other beast." She told him, angerly, then soffened her face as she looked back down at Loot. "I'm sure we can find you someplace to stay." She said with a smile.
"Come on." She said, offering him her paw.

Not quite the sort to be pushed out of his authoritative position, Mulkariss was determined to have the final word and hissed venomously in reply, "If you leave with that sssssquirrel and try to come back. I will eat you!"

Loot was easily persuaded by that threat but he was intrigued by the idea of not having to answer to Mulkariss anymore. Tentatively, the little newt took Katie's paw. "Okay. Loot comes, Miss Katie. Loot was getting bored anyway. It is time Loot goes to new pond and meets new creatures. " Hopefully, Loot thought, she would forget about making him apologize to that stinky rat!

Katie smiled as Loot took her paw. "Great, lets go." She said and started to walk away with Loot by her side. She turned to look at Mulkariss. "I doubt that. You'd need him too much to get you things. You wouldn't eat him." She said waving her free paw at him. "Good day." she looked back at Loot with a smile as they walked off.

"Now to see if we can find that rat. Don't worry, I won't let anything happen to you."

Mulkariss hissed nastily in reply but said nothing more. The big lizard turned his back on them and slithered off into the tall grasses near his pond.

"Why does Loot have to say sorry? What if rat stole from someone else? Most rats are bad, bad. Very bad. " The newt shook his head a few times as he hobbled away paw in paw with his newfound friend. "Mean they are, yes. Not very nice to Loot. No, no. Not very nice at all. "

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