It had been many seasons since that day. Blackclaw the weasel remembered the banishment well. Those woodlanders had chased the Kotir soldiers off like pesky flies, and Blackclaw's old father had been slain. At the time, Blackclaw'd been young. Now they had to move to the southlands. They'd built their own homes out of timber that they'd collected from the north pinewoods. The former soldiers now lived in a farming lifestyle, one that Blackclaw hated. "Raaagh!" Farmers! thought Blackclaw. Useless! The weasel glanced around at his cabin. He walked to the door and opened it, entering. Blackclaw approached his room and opened his wardrobe. There it was, his father's Thousand Eye armor. Alongside it was his blade, a sword, slightly blued, and his shield, with the emblem of old Verdauga, the thousand eyes. Putting the armor back in the wardrobe, Blackclaw stumped outside. He glanced around at his comrades. "Aye, mates, d'you still remember the days where we still lived at Kotir?" One of the vermin, a rat called Slyfang, replied. "Aye, Blackclaw, those were the days! Wish we'd fought back. We might still be living in Mossflower if that pussycat hadn't let the woodlanders flood Kotir." "Yer right, Slyfang," Blackclaw said. "Why don't we go back ter Mossflower again? What'll stop us?" A fox, leaning on his hoe, spoke in a shaky voice. "Those woodlanders, mate, they're tough'uns. Killed me brother, they did. 'Specially that mouse wid the sword, an' have you seen those otters?" Blackclaw thought for a moment then answered. "Slyfang!" he barked suddenly. "What?" the rat asked. "Call up all our brethren that live in this old lot. Count 'em up an' I'll tell yer wot I'll do next." As the rat scurried off, the weasel Blackclaw retreated to the cool of his cabin.

An hour later, Slyfang rapped on the door of the cabin. "I've gathered our mates, Blackclaw. There's about mebbe fivescore," the rat told Blackclaw as the weasel let him in the cabin. "Fivescore? That's a lot more than I hoped. I'll go talk to them." The weasel opened his door to the weasels, stoats, ferrets, rats, and foxes. Blackclaw glimpsed a lot of familiar faces from the forces formerly of Tsarmina and Bane. "Mates! Most of you know me, Blackclaw. I was a Captain at Kotir." "'Ey! It's old Blackclaw! By the fang, I never thought he'd still be alive!" Blackclaw shushed his brethren with a wave of his paws. Then he spoke.

"As most o' yew lot remember, we were driven from Mossflower by those woodlanders. Now is the time! We will gather a force and attack Mossflower!" Surprised gasps echoed from the assembly of vermin before Blackclaw. "We are many!" the weasel continued. "We can find our brethren. They will aid us. It will be a long time before we can gather enough soldiers, but we can do it! Now who's with me!?" There was hesitation in the air; but then the ambitious blood of the former soldiers found its way up, and the vermin erupted into cheers. "We're wid ye, Blackclaw!" "Vengeance will be ours!" "We'll live like kings, mateys!" The big weasel Blackclaw silenced the crowd of vermin and said, "We'll start today."

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