Northland Gladiators (open)
Dawn sat on a stump, sharpening his axes already lethal blade. He had chosen a group of people to help him explore the northlands. He had heard rumors of 'small wolverines.' Dawn found the idea of it totally stupid. He figured the people had been delusional. But, then again, it was many people, and they had a touch of fear in their voices. Dawn cast these thoughts aside and put his axe on his back. He looked up to see the group he had chosen, milling about the clearing.
OOC:If anyone wants to join, do it before the group gets to the northlands.
OOC: How close are we to Redwall, and to the coast, because I'd like to use my character, Captain Kroff.
OOC:It starts at the fringe between the forest and the shore, near Salamandastron. Dawn's not that good with directions.
The corsair captain Mizzero Kroff stood near the middle of the clearing, decked out in his thick fur coat and hat, with leather gloves and boots protecting his extremities, and a war-hammer slung across his back. The coat was made from a single, large pelt (possibly a bear's) with long brown fur and came down to his knees. The hat was black, and made of short, slick otter fur with the ear flaps pinned up. The gloves clung to his pawns like a second set of skin, also black, wheras the boots, brown like the coat, seemed a little loose, but had buckles on them that tightened to keep them on his feet. Last of all, the hammer on his back had a dark, oak handle as long as the pine marten's leg, carved with jagged, interlocking designs, with a head the side of a small anvil and shaped like a rectangular brick with rounded edges and corners; an instrument built for mauling, not mercy.
In one gloved paw the captain held a small, worn out book with yellowing pages and a faded green cover. He held it in front of his face with his unoccupied arm folded across his chest. Casually, he glanced away from the tale of a pair of stoats traveling through mossflower and their various comic misfortunes to check on his ship, just barely visible on the horizon. It was barely a speck of white he could see between the trees, past the monolith of the worryingly close mountain fortress and out to sea about a day's sail. He'd taken a dingy to get here and come alone, enjoying doing this sort of work himself. He'd heard of Dawn's little expedition into the north country and had seen it as a prime opportunity to do some exploring of his own. Because of the innumerable inlets and fjords turning the northern coast into a jagged death-maze, it was nearly impossible to find settlements if you didn't know which tight, rocky passages were safe to traverse… if you were searching by sea that is. Going inland and searching from the opposite direction, Kroff could easily sketch out a map and suddenly he would have a whole new playground in the north country. six, nine, maybe even a dozen ripe fishing villages, just waiting to be plundered. No one here knew that of course, they just knew he was going along as "muscle."
Smiling eerily, he returned his eyes to his book and waited for the group to be off. He could afford to be patient for this kind of reward.
Dawn got up and strode to the center of the clearing.
Clearing his throat, he started his speech, "Most of you know why you're here, but let me recap. We are going to the northlands to investigate so called 'small wolverines' that have a castle set up. Now, I would like you to call off your names one at a time, I will check them off the list." Dawn took out a scroll, some charcoal, and some spectacles. Due to Dawns size, he looked comical wearing them.
Meanwhile, not far away.
A fox sat on a rock half covered in moss. He had been sent to look for recruits for the games. Of course, it was hard to find a hardy creature when half the time, they ran away, screaming. Or if they attacked you. And the other half of the time, they just didn't survive long.
Why couldn't I have been chosen for cleaning up the arena? The fox thought to himself. It's not pretty, but at least it's not as boring. Just then, the fox heard a commotion a little ways away. He went to investigate, and saw a gathering of creatures, all of them looking hardy enough to suvive the games. Finally! A break for poor Thelen! Thelen crouched and listened intently. Upon seeing the badger in small spectacles, he supressed laughing out loud.
Reverrek was going through his supplies and making sure he had everything for the journey. He wasn't too fond of having a vermin corsair along, but trusted that Dawn knew what he was doing. He had met the badger a few days ago when he bumped into Dawn in the forest and, never one to turn down an opportunity for an adventure, gladly accepted to come along to the Northlands. He had quickly become friends with the badger, and was glad to be travelling with him. Dawn got up and strode to the center of the clearing. "Most of you know why you're here, but let me recap. We are going to the Northlands to investigate so called 'small wolverines' that have a castle set up. Now, I would like you to call off your names one at a time, I will check them off the list." Rev had to keep himself from cracking up at Dawn's spectacles when he answered, "Reverrek Greyback, probably the only honey badger in Mossflower." As he sat back down, Rev gave in and allowed himself a silent chuckle as he closed his bag, having checked that everything was in order.
Fenrath looked at the gathering of beasts in the clearing. He was expertly shrouded in the shadows of the old tree he was in. Unlike other otters, he hated going near water and hoped that the journey the badger was planning wouldn't put him too close to it. Fen wasn't part of the group, he just wanted to see the Northlands. He guessed that going with this group would keep him out of unnecessary battle. Besides, he heard that the rulers there had a great store of treasures and hoped they wouldn't mind if he took a few, dozen. Fenrath looked sharply back at the group when he heard someone say, "Reverrek Greyback, probably the only honey badger in Mossflower." Fen was stunned, where he came from, honey badgers were noble blacksmiths. The best in the entire Eastern land. He couldn't let this, what was his name? Reverrek, die. He leaped from the tree he was in and strode up to the badger in the middle of the clearing. "I'll join, if that's okay. If not, I'll still join." he told the badger.
Dawn jumped at the sudden apearence of something he could only assume was an otter "I'll join, if that's okay. If not, I'll still join."
"Of course! All are welcome to join. This is, after all, an expedition to a land that few of us know, and fewer still will probably come back alive." Dawn said, removing his spectacles. "I just require a few rules, one, no eating people," Dawn said, glaring at Mizzero Kroff, "Two, no one is allowed to leave in the middle of the expedition. Three, no stealing from your fellow explorers." Dawn punctuated his final rule by poking the otter in the chest.
"State your name and race, please"
Back to Thelen
Thelen was rolling on the forest floor, clutching his sides and despretaly trying not to laugh. When he got up, he looked around, he heard the sound of rustling undergrowth, along with soft arguing.
"And I say, he went that way!" One voice said, "Oh yeah? Well I think he went that way!" Said another, "And I think we're wasting our time, and that he's dead! let's just go find the body." The last voice was familiar. Thelen walked through the undergrowth and saw a rat, a weasel, and a stoat squabbling among each other.
"Told you he went that way!" Said the rat, giving the weasel a sharp blow between the ears. "No you didn't, you lier!" Bellowed the stoat, punching the rat in the stomach.
"Shush!" Thelen hissed, "We're not safe here, let us move farther away, so as to not disturb the badgers." Thelen led the vermin farther into the forest before letting them speak.
"We was sent to help you gather recruits for the games, sir. We know what it's like to fail the master." Said the rat.
"No we don't, you still got yer ears, right?" Said the weasel.
"Well, maybe not, but I have seen other beasts fail him!" The rat said.
"Get your blow pipes and parylizing darts, I found some recruits." Thelen said, bringing out his blow pipe and shoving a dart into it.
OOC:Does anyone have an idea of what should be in the northlands? It's going to be the one not across the ocean.
"State your name and race, please" The badger asked Fenrath. "Why certainly! I am Fenrath, an otter. Master tracker and, spy." Fen paused before saying the last thing, he didn't want to reveal too much about himself. "But tell me, who are you?" Fenrath asked while bowing low with a wicked smile on his face. He thought that it would be easy to steal from these people. It seemed as if they had no idea what a thief looks like. "These beasts are a little unprepared for the journey." he muttered to himself.
"But tell me, who are you?" Fenrath asked Dawn. "I am Dawn the badger, born on the isle of Sampetra and destined to take the throne when I find Thrugg the Greatrat. What of it?" Dawn told the otter. I'd better keep an eye on that one, he looks like a thief. Dawn thought, scratching his chin. Just then, he felt something jab his neck. He reached back to find a dart. He didn't have time to ponder on it, because he collapsed, unconcious.
Dawn woke to a sudden jolting. He had a blindfold over his eyes, it smelled like it had been used to scrape together a pile of dung. His paws were all tied to each other. He felt the blindfold being removed and he was on a cart, along with his companions. Pulling the cart was a wolverine, chained to the cart and looking as if it had been thrashed reapetedly. "Guys, do you know where we are?" Dawn asked the others.
OOC:If someone wants to be a vermin working for the master, they can.
As Rev saw Dawn fall to the ground, he felt something jab his neck as well. He pulled out the dart and stared at it a moment before it fell from his hand. His vision was beginning to get blurry as he turned and saw a fox and several other vermin heading their way. Or was it three foxes and a score of vermin? He shook his head in a vain attempt at fixing his vision. Rev staggered forward and swung at Thelen as he came near, only to miss and receive a hard kick in the side for his effort. His legs failed him and he fell to the ground. He saw the fox standing over him and grinning cruelly before his vision faded completely and he fell into unconsciousness.
Rev woke some time later, jolted from unconsciousness as the cart went over a rock. He quickly found that his paws had been tightly bound and he had been blindfolded. He had a headache, but besides that and a bit of grogginess, he was otherwise fine. The smelly blindfold was soon removed by somebeast and he could see that his companions were in the same predicament. "Guys, do you know where we are?" Dawn asked. Rev shook his head, "Afraid not, mate, but maybe our new friends can enlighten us?" He glared at Thelen, who had removed his blindfold, as he asked this.
OOC: Rev stayed conscious a bit longer than the others thanks to honey badgers' natural resistance to venom/poison.
Fenrath was about to answer the badger when Dawn suddenly fell over, unconscious. Maybe it was quick reflexes, or just luck, but Fen ducked the dart that was meant for him. He dodged three more, by that time he was feeling a bit cocky. "I am Fen the great, Fen the ultimate Fen the Immortal! I will…" Ferath felt something jab his neck. He twisted his head around to see the dart in his neck. "Oh, will you look at that." He suddenly fell over as the poison took effect.
Fen regained consciousness to see black, everything. A vermin took of his blindfold and sneered at him, "Well, well, well, 'Fen the Immortal' is awake." Several vermin around him laughed at what he said. Fenrath realized that he was on a cart being pulled somewhere. "Guys, do you know where we are?" He heard Dawn ask. "Well we appear to be on a cart being pulled roughly," Fen looked at the direction there shadows were pointing, "north." He stated.
Kroff closed his book and slipped it quietly into a pocket, listening to Dawn's speech and list of rules. The statement about eating people, obviously meant for him, did not escape his notice. He shrugged slowly, like a wave rising and falling in the open sea, and grunted, "Mizzero Kroff's appetite can be controlled when it needs to be. We had better not be eating nothing but flimsy vegetables and hard bread though. Mizzero Kroff's stomach isn't that strong," he said ironically.
He watched dispassionately as Dawn and the otter, Fen, had a chat, then his body tensed beneath its double covering of fur and flesh as both of them were dropped with poisoned darts, with much dancing and prancing on Fen's part. He felt something ping against his hat, near the neckline, and growled. He quickly reached back and grabbed his hammer, pulling it free as a dart pierced the back of his hand in the split second it was exposed. He shook the dart off and hefted his hammer, spinning to face his unseen foes. He felt the effects of the dart making him somewhat dizzy, but his sheer size kept him from being brought down by such a small amount of poison. His eyes scanned the foliage, seeing shapes moving in it, making no attempt to hide. He growled again, "Come out curs! Do your worst!"
And their worst they did, in the form of six more darts burying themselves in Kroff's cheeks, hands, and forehead. He swayed for a moment, his vision swirling dangerously, before he dropped his hammer with a low thud, falling over sideways himself. He slurred out one word through numb lips before slipping under.
Captain Mizzero Kroff came too in a bad mood. The second he regained consciousness he tried to leap up to his feet and kill something. Alas, whomever had attacked them was certainly not stupid. Rather than bind him with ropes which could have broken with enough force, he was bound to the cart by two stockades and some chains. One stock held his hands and neck, while the other had his feet, and chains held those to iron rings embedded in the cart-bed. He couldn't even reach to scratch his itching cheeks.
He bellowed loudly, straining against his stocks with all his might and getting only the sound of rattling chains in returns. He heard the conversation going on between the other prisoners, but rather than say anything useful, he turned his head with some discomfort to look at the closest vermin, bared his teeth, and started swearing a very blue streak at the top of his lungs. He was a sailor, after all.
"Well we appear to be on a cart being pulled roughly, north." Fen stated. Dawn nodded, watching Kroff swear in common sailor fashion. Dawn noticed That Thelen was next to him.
"So, the mighty wake. Speed up, we must return to the master." Thelen said, first to Dawn then to the rat on top of the cart. The rat struck the wolverine and it sped up, making Dawn shake roughly. He could see what looked like a castle in the distance, only it was crumbling from age. The nearest spire was tilting dangerously, as if the slightest jolt would cause it to crumble. Dawn looked up to see a bird circling the cart. Dawn could see the bright red feathers that marked its wings.
"Bloodkill." Dawn muttered. The bird swooped and dived among the trees. Dawn looked back to see the castle looming in front of him. There was a gate that seemed to have been rebuilt several times. It shuddered open with a loud, groaning sound. Once inside, Dawn was pulled on front of the castle proper. The gates opened, and he was dumped out into the castle. He was in a large throne room, but the throne was cast into shadows.
"Gentlemen, leave us." Said a voice from the throne. It sounded familiar, but Dawn couldn't place it. The figure leaned forward in the throne, and Dawn saw the head of a spiked warhammer.
"It's good to see you Dawn." The figure said.
"THRUGG!" Dawn yelled, struggling to get up, but only succeeding in flopping on his side. Thrugg laughed.
"Your are always amusing." Thrugg said, showing what might have been a grin on his distorted face.
OOC:Bloodkill will come in later.
Rev fiddled with the rope binding his paws, but to no avail; whoever tied it really knew what they were doing. He let out an exasperated sigh and lay his head back against the cart, hoping to catch some sleep before they got to wherever it was they were going. This hope was dashed by the jolting of the cart as it sped up and Kroff's unrelenting swearing. Rev grumbled discontentedly as he toyed with his bonds again, if only to pass the time. Soon, a large, crumbling castle could be seen off in the distance, looming commandingly over the surrounding landscape. Within a couple of minutes, the cart had pulled up to the front entrance of the castle. The front gates opened, and the group was unceremoniously dumped into what appeared to be a throne room. A voice came from the throne, and the beast it belonged to seemed to have a history with Dawn. Rev rolled off his side and, with difficulty, positioned himself so he was sitting on his knees,"You two know each other? Mind filling us in?"
Fenrath tried to sleep but it was very hard. His bonds were very uncomfortable, the jolting of the cart was uncomfortable, and Kroff's swearing was very annoying. Fen looked to one of the guards, a fox, he hated Foxes. He looked to another guard, a rat. Fen was about to say something when the cart suddenly sped up. He looked past the front of of the cart, which involved tilting his head back so much he was afraid his neck would snap. A large crumbling castle loomed overhead dwarfing every thing in the vicinity. They were all dumped into what Fen believed to be the throne room. He looked up to the front of the room to see a very imposing greatrat, probably their leader, leaning forward on the throne and talking to Dawn. "Why hello there my name is…" Fen started to say but was cut off by the greatrat pointing a finger at him and saying, "Quiet filth." Fenrath was barely fazed by this. He's been called much much worse things before.
Mizzero soon exhausted his more perverse vocabulary, shouting a few expressions he was sure no one else in the cart had ever heard, and found himself repeating things he'd already said. It mattered little to him though; just so long as he was still making known how very displeased he was. Pirates roamed the sea for a reason. Yes, because they had a lust for gold and combat, but also because the sea was, for all intents and purposes, limitless. You could see forever in every direction on the open sea, and go wherever the hell you felt like. Being imprisoned was a nightmare for Mizzero, one he rarely had to endure, and never for a great length of time.
Upon reaching the castle, the captain’s tirade wavered for a few moments as he stared at the structure. How could something look so intimidating due to its size, yet at the same time look so frail? Mizzero could not answer that, yet he was seeing such a thing now. He worried silently that the entire thing would fall down on them before he had a chance to escape.
…Not that escape was looking all that likely anyway. When the prisoners in the cart were dumped before the throne, Mizzero discovered that his stocks could be removed from the bed of the cart, though only because a pair of rats undid the bolts holding them in place. He tried to surge forward once he was free of the cart, but moving was difficult still in the stocks, so he only managed to fall to the floor and almost split his lip. A pair of burly rats held him down as a third tied a gag in his mouth, muffling his renewed tirade. And so he lay on the ground with the others; tied and gagged like a hog, awaiting the mysterious rat king’s will with rage burning in his eyes.
"You two know each other? Mind filling us in?" Rev said. Dawn stopped trying to bite his bonds off and looked to Reverrek. "That filth is Thrugg. He murdered my parents and skinned them. He's wearing them right now." Dawn said, motioning to the greatrat. Thrugg was in fact, wearing the skin of some badgers as a suit. "Take them to the pits." Thrugg said, motioning to a rat next to him. "We'll see if they can survive the arena." The rat grinned wickedly, moving to pick up Fenrath. several vermin went to pick up Dawn and Reverrek. Before the vermin could grab Mizzero, Thrugg stopped them. "Leave him, I shall speak to him, alone." He said.Dawn and the others were hauled away, leaving just Thrugg and Mizzero Kroff. "I have heard of you, Mizzero Kroff, I have heard many speak of you, although," he paused, "it is hard to tell if you would be useful through the screams. So, join me and the crew of the Bloodsides, and I will let you live." Thrugg paced in front of Mizzero, bringing his face close, removing the gag.
Back to the others
Dawn and the others were hauled down into a part of the castle that looked like a dungeon. A spacious dungeon, bit a dungeon all the same. There were several other beasts there, mice, hedgehogs, moles, shrews, voles, hares, even rats, weasels, foxes, and stoats. They ranged from young and spry to old and feeble. None of them payed any attention to the newcomers, except for an old mouse. he helped the group out of their bonds and to their feet. "It is always sad to see new beasts in the pits. I will tell you anything you want to know." The mouse sat down on a wooden chair, waiting patiently.
Rev glared at Thrugg as he was dragged off to the pits; the greatrat would pay for this. As the group was taken to the pits, he looked around, saddened and angered by the sight of so much hopelessness in so many beasts. He felt his bonds being removed and he found an old mouse that had decided to help the group. "It is always sad to see new beasts in the pits. I will tell you anything you want to know." Rev rubbed his wrists where the ropes had cut into them and looked up at the old mouse, "I'll start I suppose. Thrugg isn't keeping us as slaves, we would've seen other slaves at work around the castle if he was, so what exactly is he keeping us for?"