The Starving

  • OOC:  HEY OLD FRIENDS! ^_^ Ready for the ultimate Redwall geek binge-post marathon of the century? We're gonna see how far we can get in one weekend, and at the end of the weekend, we will officially kill this thread. 😃

    Just a head's up, Fate should be joining us here in a couple hours! She controls the terrain, the wind, the weather, the tectonic plates and (if she's fast) the flight of your arrows. I vote she gets to decide the greviousness of wounds and how fast people die! ('cause the thread is only here for a couple days anyways, right?) If your character dies, grab a new one and keep going.

    (And a major personal thank you to Fate for her time. She's a legit writer, and is taking precious writing time away from her seriously cool current project, Toad, to be here. You should check out her prologue:

    No time limit on how long you have to write your post, BUT I'm gonna be on here for the next two days, and I have NOTHING better to do than jump in and keep the action moving. ^_^ So if you aren't quick, you'll lose your opening.

    If a scene gets boring, skip some time and start a new scene.

    BACKGROUND for this scene:

    You remember the Gawtrybe, from the book Martin the Warrior? They were a violent gang of wild squirrels who tried to throw Martin and his pals off a mountain for entertainment.

    This is the same trybe, 20 generations later. Bigger, bolder, a little more intelligent than before… but just as prideful and violent. Because so much time has passed, let's reinvent and elaborate on their culture as we go. Throw in social hierarchy, strange customs, inventive weapons, war strategies and unusual perspectives, etc. Anything you want.

    A drought led to a massive wildfire that burned huge tracts of land in the Northern Mountains. The drought would have caused a famine anyways, but since the fire burned down their forests, they were forced to relocate.

    GOAL: The Gawtrybe is lazy. They don't want to have to found a whole new village. Planting, farming, etc… so much work. So they are planning to take over an existing village and enslave the goodbeasts there. Near the waterfall, they discovered a small collection of cottages with extensive orchards, and have staked it out to be their new home. Keep in mind that they are also VERY hungry, as they've just lived through a famine and scavenged for the last 3-4 seasons.

    Current location: The Southern Mountains, just northeast of Floret.

    See this map if confused:

    This intro is long, so I'm gonna post the first role-play separately. 😃 The game is afoot!

    PS… Sorry for the weird title. I forgot to change it before I posted... oh well.

  • Gyybe poked the mouse with a long stick.

    "Getta faster, bug." Jonathon whimpered on the end of his leash. He'd been strapped into a full body harness, which was attached to the cruel squirrel below via a long braided vine. Jonathon climbed higher into the tree where the branches were unsuitable for his weight, reaching for honey locust fruit and throwing them for the squirrels to catch. Since they liked to run for them, Gyybe had instructed him to throw them as far as he could. Unfortunately, every time he chucked one, the branches swayed dangerously.

    "Climb higher! Higher! Higher!" The chant was taken up by couple of observing squirrels who had been catching the fruit he threw down. In his rush to avoid another jab with the sharped pole, he accidentally grabbed a long thorn.

    Jon reeled back, nearly loosing his grip on the tree. He swung around wildly on too-thin branches, reaching for something stable with his footpaws. Finally he was able to scramble back toward the trunk. He hugged it fiercely while trying to suck the long thorn out of his paw. The world swayed and spun. Jonathan moaned with nausea.

    Gyybe savored the look on the mouse's face. These stupid ground-creatures. Why would anything so obviously inferior try to challenge them? This was going to be such a great game.

    A comparatively scrawny jumble of matted fur, still a little larger than any squirrel Jonathan had ever seen, skipped toward the crowd that had gathered at the foot of the tree.

    "Wakka want the mousey brat now."

    Gyybe kicked Meekee. almost dodged, stuck his tongue out, and then slunk away. Even though Meekee was born first, he was considered younger. He only had two owl feathers in his tail, and they weren't even flight feathers.

    The other squirrels chittered with disappointment, but their moods immediately improved as Gyybe started yanking on the cord, trying to pull Jonathan down.

    Jonathan screamed. Branches and leaves whipped past him, thorns scratched as he fell.

    The wild squirrels caught him, sort of. He didn't hit the ground, but was held upside-down in an awkward jumble as they ran with him. He felt like a toy in one of those spring relay races he used to love.

    ((( SO! To clarify, the gawtribe is hiding in the orchard just outside the village they intend to conquer. They have kidnapped one young citizen of the village, Jonathan, who is a mouse about 10-11 seasons old.

    Seth and I have hashed out a background detail:

    Since the original Gawtrybe was repressed by Boldred the Owl, we're gonna say that a little while later, the Gawtrybe rebelled and killed the owls. Since then, owls are their sworn enemies, and killing an owl has been a mark of status in their trybe.

    If you are the one to kill an owl, you get a flight feather. Anyone who tagged along on the hunt and helped catch the owl gets a contour feather. Then they burn the owl carcass so there are no feathers left.

    Your "age" = your official status in the hierarchy of the trybe. This is dictated by the number of feathers you have. Flight feathers are most important. Contour feathers only serve as tie-breakers in case you have the same number of flight feathers.

    Any questions? )))

  • UPDATE: This writing marathon will go through MONDAY night. So… 48 hours...ish. If you get bored or need to drop out, that's fine. Just announce it so we know not to wait for you. 😉

  • Wakka was in a bad mood.
        "I senta Meekee long long time ago!! Whersa Wakka's mousey?"
        Jethri sighed and rubbed his temples. "You sent him less than two minutes ago. He's hasna hardly- …er, ahem... -hasn't hardly had time to find the beast herding him." Jethri loathed the term 'herding,' in reference to the mouse that they'd caught. However, as soon as Wakka caught wind of it, he insisted on everybeast using it.
        Unfortunately, the chieften was in a different mood now. Wakka glared at Jethri and snapped a branch between his paws. "Git the mousey or dig the pit," the cheiften ordered.
        Jethri swallowed. "Yes, m'lord. I'll fetch Johnathan." Anything but digging. Especially today.
        Wakka usually giggled at the sound of 'm'lord.' Today was different. Jethri had to learn quickly that just because Wakka was young, and although he was childish and silly, Wakka had another side to him. He was growing up to be a dangerous squirrel. Big for his age and diving into adulthood with all paws flying, he quickly gained the respect of his Gaawtrybe after the death of his father. In other words; he was growing up to an irrepressible menace to society.
        But Jethri saw potential in him, too.
        Just then, footpaws splash through the creek behind them. About a dozen Gawwtrybe squirrels were dragging the pore Johnathan upsidedown through the muddy embankment. Jethri's heart bleed for him.
        Wakka was on his feet in an instant, drawing his wooden sword- he wasn't allowed to carry a real sword until he had a third flight feather. It was a touchy subject. "Wanna Meekee dunk in the creek for make'n Wakka wait."
        A couple of squirrels ran off, squealing with delight. The sight, however, was anything but comical. Watching a happy Gaawtrybe squirrel was like seeing a scarecrow grin…
        Wakka sat back down on the lump of tree root beside the stream. He used his broken stick to draw in the mud. "Wakka thinked upa game fer the mouses. Aluv 'um. Make'm long fer harvest work."
        Jethri shuddered. "What is this wise plan, lord?" He already knew. This was for the dramatic benefit of the other squirrels, who didn't.
        "Wakka haz pit ready now, right Tuloo?"
        One on the squirrels chuckled evilly. "Good'n deep, your Wakkaness."
        A rock thumped him squarely on the nose. Wakka glared at the impudent creature. "Neva call me that, ya idjit."
        The squirrel scrubbed furiously at his throbbing nose. "No, sir," he growled.
        "Now say thank you, Tuloo," Wakka smiled.
        "Thank you, sir."
        At least Wakka learned something from me, Jethri thought. I hope his father's happy, bless his soul.
        "Now, here'sa da idea," Wakka drew a diagram so that the less intelligent beasts would understand. "There'sa big 'ole crack 'tween the orchard an' the mousies, right? We offer 'em their food back if'n they can pull our beastie over da edge. Thing is, we tie a big 'ole rock in da middle ov da rope."
        One squirrel raised his hand -Wakka hated it when Jethri made him do it, so why not let the others suffer, too? "Wakka, chief Wakka! The mousie's r' gonna get stronger."
        "And us use bigga rocks."
        There was a moment of silence as the squirrels ingested it. "But lotsa slaves die.
        "Nah," Wakka giggled. "Dey can't git outa da pit, but der not gonna die. We keep 'em down der an feed 'em scraps. We offer da village mousies der friend mousies back ifn' dey bring us food. Den we do it again. Dey can't leave da village widdout leav'n der daddies, but dey can't have der daddies back 'til dey get us food."
        Jethri sighed.
        It was brutal.
        It was efficient.
        It was Gaawtrybe.

  • It was raining the next morning. An unseasonable frigid misting of rain.
    The drizzle had started late in the middle of the night. The hastily assigned sentries from the village had had a hard night of it. But the rest of the village had not slept well either. Except for Porin the village drunk (unassigned chara), who managed to sleep anywhere in any weather, so long as he had a little something in his bottle to help him escape the world.
    After the unexpected attack in the orchard the afternoon before that had left one of their youngsters missing, the village had been a bevvy of confused activity. A brief attempt at parley had failed. So the village leader posted sentries with whatever threatening farming implements they could find and hastily erected makeshift barriers. Those who were not on sentry duty or in council through out the long night–trying to hash out a plan to rescue Jon and defend the village--had been busy making preparations.
    The council argued all through the night. Brigands rarely considered them worth much trouble, so they were entirely unprepared. Should they send to Floret for help? Too far. And the savage squirrels had nearly already taken another villager who had gone out to scout. Ask them what they want and bargain for Jon? That was already tried. Try it again? On and on, it went.
    But certainly, the sentries had the worst of it, standing in the cold night rain, waiting for word of what the village would do. And waiting.
    It was still a very miserable and confused village next morning when the rainy gloom finally lightened slightly, all the indication there would be that day had arrived. Not even the sun would lighten today.
    Clearly, the village needed a leader.

  • OOC: Just reading and want to join in? Join us HERE: where we are coordinating.

  • (OOC: Guys, it's been like seven years since I read a Redwall book, and about as long since I've RP'ed, so if I totally suck at this, I'm sorry! XD)

    Through the drizzle a young otter made his way to one of the sentries.  He stopped beside him, looking out toward the orchard.
    "Anything happen last night?" he asked, concerned.  He and Jonathan were friends, and it was taking a lot of will power to keep from bounding after the Gawtrybe himself.
    "Nothing, Joey."
    The otter hunched his shoulders and glared at the orchard.  A low growl escaped him.
    "Joooeeeey!"  The two looked to see the otter's younger sister Leela running to him.  She stopped short when she reached the sentry, painfully shy of anyone outside family and close friends.  When Joey saw she wasn't coming any closer, he went to her and she whispered, "You're gonna be in big trouble!"
    "What?  Why?"
    "Because Daddy woke up and you were gone!  He got scared!"
    Joey groaned.  He looked back toward his home, only to gasp and go wide-eyed with terror.  His father was coming for him.
    Malik was a large otter, known in the village for his strength.  He stomped toward his son, and, without a word, hefted him up and threw him over his shoulder.  "Morning," he said gruffly to the sentry and then stomped away again.  Joey groaned.

  • Suddenly the sentry cried out.

    "Wait! Here they come!"

    Nearly three score squirrels began to appear out of the fog. Skipping, cartwheeling,  and pouncing on each other, they meandered toward the villagers.

    They were a disgusting, terrifying sight. The squirrels stood, on average, two heads taller than a normal squirrel. Feathers stuck out in odd directions from their tails and from behind their ears. Some of the feathers were dyed red, or had patterns painted on. They carried an impressive variety of weapons of varying effectiveness. Small stone axes, an enormous broadsword, arrows without bows, sharp steel pikes, and a couple wooden swords.

    Jangling with crude tin jewelry and trinkets, laughing as if they hadn't a care in the world, they carried Jonathan in front of them. He was gagged and bound. When the squirrels stopped, a good distance from the barricade, he swayed slightly, as somewhat dizzy from hunger or dehydration.

    "Comma getcha mouse brat!"

  • Nyim massaged the lump of flesh where his right arm used to be. It always hurt more when the air was damp.
        From his shelter under the roof the blacksmith shop, Nyim leaned out and peered up into the drizzle. "Sure is a lousy day out. I hope this clears up soon."
        His friend (unnassigned chara) chuckled. "From the look of things, there's gonna be a storm of it before this blows over. Speaking of which, I wonder what's become of poor Jonathan?"
        "Yeah," Nyim whispered, looking down at the ground. Barely an adult, the young otter was still tall and muscular, but he lacked the same zeal and passion that was so dear to otterkind.
        Nyim wondered for a moment… What would become of young Jon? And if it came down to it, would Nyim give his life for him?
        Probably not, he admitted.
        Malik passed by just then and Nyim looked up at Joey. As usual, Nyim looked the other way. Not my business.
        Then, just around the corner, Nyim heard shouting.
        "Did you hear that?" His friend asked, sitting up.
        Nyim kept listening. Another shout. "Yeah, I heard it. Gimme a sec and I'll check it out." He pulled his hood over and stepped into the rain.

  • "Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad!"  Joey jerked and wiggled and squirmed in his father's grasp.  "I heard something!  I heard something!  Let me go!  Let me see!"  He managed to break free and shot away.
    "Joseph!" Malik snapped, but his son was already out of sight.  Now it was Malik's turn to groan.
    "Daddy?" Leela asked quietly.  "Is it them?  Is it the scary ones?"
    "It's probably nothing."  Attempting to offer what comfort he could, Malik put a large paw around his daughter's shoulders and held her close as they followed Joey.
    But it wasn't nothing.  It was the Gawtrybe.  As soon as Joey saw Jonathan among the group he cried out, "JON!  JONNY!  JON!  YOU LET HIM GO!  LET HIM GO RIGHT NOW, OR YOUR GONNA BE SORRY!  LET HIM GO YOU… YOU..." but he didn't seem to be able to find an insult bad enough for them.  He stood with his teeth bared and his fur bristling and let the intended insult to into a growl.

  • All he got was a cheeky grin.

    "Ooooh, wants him back? Then you gotta play our game!"

  • In the background, Nyim came within earchot.

  • "I'm not playing any stupid game with you!" Joey lashed back.  But then he felt the heavy weight of his father's paw on his shoulder.
    "Joseph, let one of us handle this." he said, quietly but firmly to his son.  Joey glared at him, but didn't dare argue.
    Malik stepped forward and folded his arms across his chest, looking coldly at the Gawtrybe.  "What is it that you want?"

  • Stepping forward, Wakka pulled out his silly-looking wooden sword. "Youra big beast, aren't ya? Not the sort of beast ya mess with, am I right?"
        The Gawtrybe Chieften took a few friendly steps forward, swinging his wooden sword deftly. It made a whistling sound as it whipped it, and suddenly didn't seem so childish. "I tell you what, rivermutt; if you can pull the rope harder than our Gawtrybe squirrel, you kin have yer mousey back. Fancy that?"

  • Malik gave a hard frown.  In his mind, he was beginning to see the Gawtrybe as nothing but a gang of petty bullies, harassing them, and then making them jump through hoops in exchange for a little peace.  If the villagers did play along, and did win back Jonathon, he wondered how long it would be before the Gawtrybe kidnapped someone else, or found some other way to cause trouble.
    Still, they needed Jonathon back.  And even if the peace was only temporary, it gave them time to come up with a way to get rid of the Gawtrybe.
    "We'll play the game," he said.  "But we get to choose who in the village is going to play.  We'll come back at noon with our player."
    He was willing to take a go at it himself, but thought it best to buy some time so that the other villagers could know what was happening.

  • Feeling abandoned, Jonathan cried out as the otter turned to go.

    A squirrel–one of the adults--stepped up next to him. He picked Jonathan up, then flipped him over, letting him hang from his ankle. He grinned curiously at Jonathan, then turned to the village and shouted,

    "Waiting is boring! We wanna play now. Come see-a how the game plays! It's suppa funny. Big beasts can play too, but we already have two little ones. We gonna start now! Come see!"

    With that, the squirrels turned and started to run back into the woods.

  • Nyim the otter felt a knot in the bottom of his stomach. That doesn't sound good. "We'd better go see what this is about. Beasts don't kidnap dibbuns to play hide-and-seek."

  • The sentry didn't waste a moment.

    "To arms!" Peter yelled at the top of his lungs, hoping everyone in the village would hear. "They are leaving! Quick, before they get away! Everyone, move!"

    Even though he, as an awkward and lanky squirrel, felt emasculated by the brawn of the giant savages, desperation won. His younger brother was the fearless scout who had gone missing the night before.

  • The fog had not yet lifted from that night and it wasn't fully light out, the path was hidden by the mists hanging over it and swirling around as Frey walked through it. He peered as far ahead as he could but it was useless so he kept walking. After another half hour he started to get frustrated, not knowing where he was going with all the fog. He looked around and on the edge of the path he saw a tree with low branches, he walked over and and reached up pulling himself up, one branch at a time. Not being a very good climber he was going slow, he almost fell once from the dew on the branches making them slippery. He got about halfway up the tree and looked around, finally he saw something further along. He decided to keep going and climbed/fell most of the way back to the ground. He got up and rubbed a bruise on his back end.

    The fog was lifting when he neared a small village and started to hear noises. When he got closer he started to see what was going on. He stepped into the path of an otter who was moving towards the noise.
    "Whats going on here?" He asked, he had seen the squirrels and wondered what exactly they were doing. So he just moved with the crowds.

  • ooc: It looks like Malik needs to say something dramatic, and then I'll scene-change to the crevice.

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