Book 1: The Taste of Steel Claws


Under crimson skies, among dark forests, in the shadow of your step…Fear and death awaits, in this cruel and perilous land. But also good friends, faithful allies, and great adventure. Welcome to Mossflower. I have lived in this Country for many a season, and at every corner, many a foe I have faced. I trust you are here to learn from a great warrior, one who has made many a mistake, and gained many a scar through my treacherous life and career, in my seeking of the great Mountain where we both are in now. Well, I’ll give you the best of what you’ve come for. Knowledge is the key to success, something not many beasts know…To help you gain the knowledge you seek, I tell you this…A story of courage and valor, of loyalty and love; but also a story of murder and vengeance, of war and betrayal… Listen well, for it may help you along your warrior’s way…

Chapter 1

The ruins of Marshank lay shadowing the three creatures huddled at it's foot as the rain thrashed their faces and lighting arched across the dark, clouded sky. One of them, a ferret with dappled gray and chestnut hair dotting his white fur, pulled the tattered cloak tighter about his damp frame, before turning to eye the crouched rat alongside him, shivering against the smooth wall. "Did you get the sword?" His voice was a ragged hiss against the pouring rain, shaking with cold yet still keeping that sharp, keen edge associated with knife blades, daring him to say otherwise than what was expected. The rat shook rain from his gray fur, before offering the small bundle he had lain crouched over, his body shielding it from the rain. "I have as you requested, ferret" he spoke calmly, slowly, as if every word was as important as the day the world was made. "I removed it from a traveling mouse, and stuck him with his own spear. `Tis a rapier- solid steel blade, silver handle laced with softened leather strips, silver basket. Newly made. Reckon the merchant was looking to sell it." As he spoke, the ferret gingerly removed the sailcloth covering the sword, and tested it's edge upon his paw. It was razor sharp and keenly honed, a masterfully made weapon. "Well done. I'll deliver it t' Giralda shortly, th' hag should know where next t' bring it." With that, he sheathed it in his own belt. The rat studied his companion suspiciously. "And your part of the bargain?" The ferret snapped a trinket off his neck and tossed it to the thief. It was a shell, like those worn as necklaces by otterbabes along the coast nearby. The rat chuckled, a humorless, ice-cold sound. Vengeance was done. He tossed the shell aside, before stretching. The rain had stopped. Gathering his own cloak about him, he tossed the ferret a coin than turned to leave, trudging through the damp sands towards a sloop bobbing upon the tide. The ferret stowed the sword away, buried the shell and sailcloth in the sand, than left as well, heading for the Northern forests, as if that meeting between murderer and thief had never stained history before.

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