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POF-01 An Otter in Training

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  • POF-01 An Otter in Training

    Prologue

    "A tale for a journey begun."
    "The fellowship we have sung."
    "To escape from his right."
    "In the middle of the night."
    "He hopes not to step into dung."

    The winged unicorn minstrel smiled to his unseen audience as he polished his silver mandolin. "I greet thee, noble travelers. For a story so grand, yet still you do stand, come seat yourselves thusly by my fire. For I have a tale to quoth pon your ears. A ballad of a fellowship of chance, but why would'th they stay together for so long, one might ask in a song? Ah, come... I'll reveal the truth of his repeal... The Princely Otter Fellowship."


    POF-01 An Otter in Training
    By Darrel James Vanwinkle
    05/18/2006

    Chapter 01

    As the noble giraffe couriers were showing proper protocol in their bowing before the majestic otter of nobility, King Lutraon, just off to the side within an alcove a young male otter wearing princely clothes with a feathered cap stood gingerly shaking his head. He quietly mocked the couriers, muttering, "Oh great and most powerful liege of the furthering seas, gracious king of the rubbery knees, harlot's guard of the lantern's tease... we bring forth to you a brown-nosing gift of peace that we hope will appease you enough to grant us your blessings to convey back to our master who is too big of a coward to come and bow to you himself. Oh dominas, sominas, hominas."

    The young otter was suddenly struck on the side of his muzzle by his mother, the wife and queen to the noble otter who sat on the throne. "I thought I'd find you here being disrespectful. Come, you're already late for your training exercise with the captain of the guard."

    The princely otter placed his paws on his waist. "I don't want to be a castle guard. Hey! Let go! No!" These last few words were spoken because his mother was already beginning to drag the young prince off down the adjoining hallways toward the training quarters.

    That night, very late, the princely otter found himself on the castle's roof, gazing out past the castle's walls at the surrounding lands beyond. "I'll never get out of this place. I hate it here."

    Suddenly, a female voice exclaimed softly, "If you could get out, where would you go? What would you do? You live in safety here, but beyond is a world of danger and adventure."

    The princely otter turned his head toward the voice and saw a completely black-clad, masked, female wolf with a katana strapped over her back. "Who are you? I've never seen you in the castle before."

    The female wolf chuckled, "I was making sure a visiting lord knew that he could not hide within this castle to escape the wrongs he did in another land. I am a warrior of the night. I am a ninja. As for my name, that you must earn. Were you serious about leaving the castle?"

    The princely otter hummed, then replied, "Yes. I do not want to spend the rest of my life as a castle guard or be pressed into the kingdom's army. I want to make a real difference in the world. But alas, because I have grown up in such a protected place, my ability to fight or survive is as raw as the drawl meats in the kitchens. I wouldn't last a day out there without some form of training. But I don't want a castle resident holding my paw my whole life, either. What can I do?"

    The female wolf turned her masked muzzle toward the princely otter and said, "Tell you what... if you can pay a fee of my choosing, I will make sure you gain the non-castle training you seek so you may survive in the world. What do you say?"

    The princely otter was ecstatic! "You have yourself a deal! I'll pay anything! What do you want?"

    The female wolf made no noticeable motion, but the otter could tell that she was grinning. "I want your name and I want you to get the giraffe warlord out of the castle by any means that you can. If you do this, my guarantee and promise for training you will have."

    The princely otter shook the female wolf's hand. "I am Royal Prince Rab Lutraon, but I don't want to be just a prince anymore. And I'll do whatever I can to get the lord out of the castle."

    End of Chapter 01

  • #2
    Chapter 02

    Rab was sure that the giraffe lord wasn't too happy with being tricked out on to that balcony where the female wolf ninja awaited him, but that was in the past now. Rab didn't see what had happened between the giraffe and the wolf, but later he'd be told that the giraffe tried to fight her and lost. Rab and his hostess were now running along a darkened forest trail to the east of Lutraon. Rab wasn't sure what running had to do with survival training, but it was a good sprint.

    It was a good two hours later when the female ninja wolf permitted a stop. "I know that you must be tired, Prince Rab. This is my encampment." She then threw a bedroll directly into Rab's chest, knocking him backwards on his tail. "You have to earn a tent. Be sure you get plenty of rest. Tomorrow we travel whether you're ready or not." She then entered her tent.

    Rab unfurled his bedroll and laid himself down upon it. He didn't bother to get undressed. "So this is what it's like to be away from the castle." He curled up on the bedroll, shivering, and slowly drifted off into an uneasy sleep.

    And it was soon morning faster than he had hoped.

    His hostess kicked him off the bedroll. "It's time to get moving. You can eat on the way. I hope you like fish and berries because it's all you're getting."

    Rab frowned as he rubbed his backside and stood up slowly. He noticed that the camp was already packed up and gone. And soon, so was the bedroll. And then, they set off again, though not running this time. It was while they were walking that his hostess suddenly said, "Drewberry."

    Rab glanced at her. "Um, you can't be wanting one of those. They aren't in season."

    His hostess chuckled. "What else can you tell me about them?"

    Rab irked. "They are brown?"

    She slapped him pretty hard when he said that. "Do you want me to send you back to your castle? Try to get with the program here. Drewberries are summer producing fruits, but they are not for eating. The juice can be used in healing salves, while the pulp can be applied to arrow tips, making them into a paralyzing additive, which can immobilize your enemies. Now, do you think you can remember that?"

    Rab was rubbing his sore jaw. "I'll try..." He then noticed that she was glaring at him. "...I mean, I will learn it."

    She nodded her masked muzzle. "You'll have to learn it, Rab. I won't be around all the time. Now come, we have a long way to go today. And I want you to know many more things before we meet up with my current employer. And when we do meet him, you are to keep your muzzle shut. Think you can do that little thing?"

    Rab nodded his head silently.

    End of Chapter 02

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    • #3
      Chapter 03

      She turned back to the forward, but Rab was sure that she was grinning. "Oxroot."

      And so it went for the rest of the day. Rab's hostess was unrelenting in the way that she taught others. He was slowly learning how to dodge her punitive slaps. And she seemed to be pleased with that. At least, he was hoping she was pleased.

      That evening, Rab was glad that they had arrived at a roadside inn and tavern. Perhaps that meant that they'd be sleeping in a real bed, finally. They had just barely entered the inn portion of the establishment, when it became apparent that those waiting within were more interested in killing his new instructor.

      A large sabre-toothed tiger with a battlesword growled, "Gotaki Riverclaw! Kill her!"

      And that was all Rab got to see, as he found himself flying backwards out of the inn, and into the bushes on the other side of the forest road. Although his landing wasn't hard, like he'd expected, as he found himself in the arms of the largest and tallest black furred rabbit female that he'd ever laid eyes on.

      "I assume the troops of Lord Kaltor got here before I did. You can call me Warneeri. I'm a battlemage. Now stand aside while I do my thing. I'd hate to see such a pretty boy get hurt."

      And with that, the tall female rabbit battlemage stepped out of the brush and began chanting her spell. And from experience with previous castle mages, Rab knew that the coming spell involved fire. He quickly dived aside so he wouldn't be in the way.

      "FLAME RUSH!"

      "Damn you, Warneeri! Give a wolf some warning next time!!"

      "I got here, didn't I? Quit your complaining or my next spell will involve nudity!"

      "Not like you have anything I haven't seen before!"

      "Gotaki! I'll kill you, you..."

      And the rest was language that Rab never heard uttered in the castle. In fact, he'd never heard such language before. And the things said are not things that he would ever repeat. And when the ruckus was finally dying down, Rab saw that the inn and tavern simply wasn't there anymore. All that remained was a smouldering husk of ash and smoke. His hostess, whose name was apparently Gotaki Riverclaw, stood there scowling at the flame burnt saber-toothed tiger warrior. And Gotaki was obviously mad.

      "Who sent you to kill me? Or would you rather see if my friend the battlemage has any spells left?"

      End of Chapter 03

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      • #4
        Chapter 04

        Warneeri grinned. "Gee... no damage causing spells, but I think I do have a toddler spell..."

        Rab finally steeled up the courage to say something. "Good sir... um, I think they'd be more inclined to spare your life if you simply just told them what they wanted to know."

        Gotaki shot a fiery glare at Rab, but she didn't say anything. She didn't get a chance to say anything, for the saber-toothed tiger warrior spoke up in response to the otter's request.

        "Lord Baelwing of Gloomdale. He found out that this ninja was the one who had killed one of the area sheriffs. He learned that she was on a mission in Lutraon and would be returning to this inn and tavern, and hired my men and I to ambush her when she came. But no one said anything about a battlemage and a..." he was now looking at Rab. "...a... you're... you're..." And with that, he fainted in Gotaki's grip.

        Warneeri was a little surprised by the faint. Then she looked at Rab. "Did he see something in you that I don't see?"

        Gotaki dropped the warrior on the ground and exclaimed, "Don't say a word, Rab! You're in training, remember?"

        Rab wisely kept his muzzle shut when Gotaki requested it. She still appeared to be very upset.

        Warneeri folded her arms. "This otter is your student? I didn't think your kinks went into that species..."

        Rab was glad he wasn't the one getting that angry stare now.

        Warneeri had continued, of course. "...and a male to boot. Didn't the house of prostitutes have any females left?"

        "Shut up!" Gotaki replied angrily.

        Warneeri grinned. "So his name is Rab. Is he a virgin, too?"

        "I said, Shut up!" Gotaki shouted.

        Rab wanted to ask what a virgin was, because it was a term that no one in the castle would speak of when he was around. But he was quickly learning what shut up meant around Gotaki.

        Warneeri was still trying to be funny, in the meanwhile. "Have you slept with him yet?"

        Gotaki shot the gaze of death at Warneeri. "One more word and I attack you!"

        Warneeri slyly grinned. "I'll take that as a no. May I sleep with him, then? He might learn something about sex from me."

        End of Chapter 04

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        • #5
          Chapter 05

          What Rab got to see at that point was a 'cat fight' among 'friends', as it were. Gotaki and Warneeri were rolling around on the ground, hitting each other and clawing.

          It was while the ladies were fighting when Rab became aware of a brazen attempt of looting the bodies in the remains of the inn and tavern. As Rab watched, he noticed that the robber appeared to be a male ferret wearing what appeared to be lizard skin clothes, gloves, and boots of quiet walking. Rab seemed to get the picture very quickly. This was a thief.

          Of course, the ferret noticed that his activities were being watched. And further... he seemed to recognize just who was watching him. "Prince Rab??" the ferret whispered.

          Rab slowly nodded his head.

          The adult ferret smiled, as he came over and shook Rab's hand. "Dragondagger of Clan Slyfingers." He then glanced over at Gotaki and Warneeri's cat fight. "And people wonder why hiring mercenaries is so overrated. Look how they act. It's pathetic." He then turned to Rab again. "Why are you out of your castle, your highness?"

          Rab smiled. "Are you the one who hired Gotaki in the first place?"

          Dragondagger nodded his head. "That would be me. So, what's your story, Rab? Your parents are probably having a human by now."

          Rab grinned. "I'd pay to see that!" Then he got serious and said, "Gotaki made a deal with me and she's been teaching me survival skills so I can become more than just a prince."

          Dragondagger smiled. "About time an otter in your family got some brains! Well, let's break up the little cat fight over here. I swear, they act worse than humans."

          When the cat fight was broken up, the three professionals spoke at length, while Rab tied up the saber-toothed tiger warrior. He couldn't overhear what they were talking about, but occasionally, he noticed that they were gazing his way.

          Finally, Warneeri approached Rab and said, "So you want to be a warrior, do you?"

          Rab nodded his head.

          Warneeri grinned. "Then perhaps it is time for Gotaki to drop you off on someone who is likely more skilled in teaching you about it."

          Rab arched at eye at Gotaki, or he was going to but she was no longer there. And neither was Dragondagger. "So she traded me off, is that it?"

          Warneeri smiled. "It's not so bad. I'm heading that direction anyway and it's on my way. I hope you like beavers, because that is what your new teacher is going to be."

          End of Chapter 05

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          • #6
            Chapter 06

            The beaver who only wore a flap made of river reeds exclaimed, "No. Especially not after the last time you tread through our area. You bad luck bunny."

            Warneeri summoned her spell book and ahemed. "I didn't want to have to resort to this, but you're not leaving me much choice. Now where is my Transgender spell...?"

            Rab thought it was time to step in and run interference again. "Noble sir... rather than provoking the bad luck bunny to project bad tidings from her dead tree of words, perhaps you would find it more healthy to direct us to the one called Brand Irondam."

            The beaver examined Rab for a moment, then replied, "You not bad luck maker. Why travel with night eating bunny? Make no sense." Then he paused and pointed out across the river toward a very obvious adobe hut on top of the far end of the dam. "Brand Irondam live there. But you know this... no tell of new people huddles. Him hate that."

            Rab smiled. "Thank you, noble sir." He then turned to Warneeri. "I got the directions, Warneeri."

            Warneeri had noticed. "What spell did you cast to make him putty in your paws?"

            Rab chuckled. "It's called Etiquette. I thought they taught Mages that."

            Warneeri humphed. "You've spent too much time around Gotaki, the bitch. Well, come on... let's go see if Brand will train you. He may just slam the door in our faces. Well, in my face. I made not so good of an impression the last time I walked through this region."

            Rab grinned. "I could tell from how the chieftain spoke of you. The night eating bunny? The bad luck bunny? I wonder what other titles they have for you..."

            Warneeri growled, "Shut up."

            Rab tried not to smile when she said that. He was very quickly learning to clamp his muzzle shut when a female told someone to shut up.

            The two were soon standing in front of the door to Brand Irondam's dwelling on top of the dam. Warneeri rapped on the door with her quarterstaff. Slowly the door opened and an irate looking male beaver was then standing in the open doorway. Like the chieftain, he didn't wear much in the way of clothing, but from his expression, he recognized the battlemage on sight.

            Warneeri then smiled sweetly, "Greetings, old friend. I have a favor to ask of you, then I'll leave the region. I know how much you don't like my being here."

            Brand sighed, as he folded his arms over his chest and tapped his foot.

            Warneeri then said, "This young otter needs survival training and to be taught how to fight and how to defend himself. Gotaki told me to bring him to you." Then she uttered a spell and was gone.

            End of Chapter 06

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            • #7
              Chapter 07

              Rab was soon following Brand deep into the wilderness. Away from the beaver natives stronghold. Far, far away. In fact, Rab was beginning to think that the beaver was leading him off to be killed or something of that nature. Finally, the two arrived at a small swamp side cave that had tribal markings all over it's rocky edges. At this point, Brand stopped and turned to face Rab.

              "Warneeri doesn't know who you are. But I do. I am not happy that a fur from civilization... bleh... has been sent to me to be trained for any reason."

              Rab sighed. "If you aren't going to train me, then I'll just leave and try to fend for myself." And he started to turn to leave, sad that the beaver didn't want to train him.

              Suddenly, the beaver had a crude spear poked against Rab's back. "Lesson one... never turn your back on your enemies. Now turn your little pompous butt around and face me."

              Rab sighed, as he slowly turned back around to face Brand.

              Brand threw the spear aside. "No one is going to take you seriously as long as you are dressed as a noble escapee from a castle. Therefore... lose the clothes. Now."

              Rab blinked his eyes in somewhat of shock. "Take off my clothes? Here? Why?"

              Brand reached out suddenly and deliberately ripped part of Rab's fine silk shirt. "Just do as your told or my next grab will be much lower."

              Rab frowned as he began doing as he was told. He was a little miffed that Brand had deliberately ripped his shirt. Once the shirt was removed, the boots came off, followed by his tunic and leggings. He dropped all of these things into a pile in front of him.

              Brand ahemed. "All of it. The hat and loincloth too. I want to see you without any belongings."

              Rab was blushing now. He dropped his hat into the pile, then... very reluctantly removed his loincloth and dropped it, too, into the pile.

              Brand smiled at that point. "You should not be ashamed of what you have, Rab. Now come with me into the cave. I need to paint you so that when anyone sees you, they will know that you are my student and no one else's. While I train you, I own you. You are my property. Therefore, you will dress how I tell you. You will eat what I give you. And you will sleep where I direct."

              Rab was still blushing and was now also quietly crying. He'd never been forced to undress in public before and he definitely felt ashamed to be naked in front of another person.

              Inside the cave, Brand began applying the paints to Rab's body using his bare paws rather than a paintbrush. This, of course, meant that Brand was getting to grope his new student all over. When the paint job was finished, Brand said, "Now, sit right there and don't move. I'll be back to start your training." Brand left the cave and used Rab's clothing as fuel in the fire pit.

              End of Chapter 07

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              • #8
                Chapter 08

                Within the coming weeks, Rab was trained by Brand and learned how to survive in the Wind River Wilderness as if he was born there. Brand was ever by his side, guiding him through his trials, errors, and successes.

                It was during a misty morning when Brand actually overslept that Rab found himself stalking a wild dray lizard in a field of extremely tall grass. "I know what Brand and I will have for breakfast now, my friend. Don't make this harder than it has to be." And he dove for the lizard, but missed, as the dray lizard darted off through a thick clump of tall grasses.

                A moment later, Rab heard a childish giggle, which was followed by the whinnying of a horse. This puzzled Rab quite a bit, for he knew there were no horses in this part of the training area. Brand would have mentioned it. And he hadn't.

                Rab stalked closer and reached forth, parting the tall grasses for him to look beyond.

                In the center of a perfectly round clearing in the middle of the tall grasses... Rab saw five very handsome stallions. Perhaps what alerted him that something about this circle wasn't quite right was that there was shredded clothing on the ground beneath three of the horses, along with weapons, coin purses, and equipment.

                And in the next instant, Rab felt himself yanked backward and spun around.

                Brand stood there. "What are you doing out here, Rab?"

                Rab replied, "I was hunting a dray lizard for our breakfast, like you taught me, and he dashed in there," he pointed toward where he had just been looking before Brand showed up. "...and there was a childish giggle and the whinnying of a horse. When I looked in there, I saw five horses... except... something isn't right about this clearing. There are shredded clothes and equipment on the ground beneath three of the horses."

                Brand arched an eye and peered through the tall grasses. He immediately pulled back to Rab's position as fast as possible. "You were wise not to go in there, Rab. It's a very special trap."

                It was now Rab's turn to raise an eyebrow. "What kind of trap?"

                Brand explained, "This is the magical circle home of an invisible creature known as an Equipixy. It giggles to get your attention and when you are looking directly into the giggle, he throws equine pixie dust in your face, which causes you to have to sneeze. And when you sneeze inside that circle, you change into a horse and you cannot leave the circle for any reason. And only the equipixy who changes you can change you back. And he won't do it unless forced by a female. Females are immune to his equine transformation power."

                Rab asked, "Does he know we're out here?"

                Brand replied, "Oh yes. He's been waiting for us to walk in."

                End of Chapter 08

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                • #9
                  Chapter 09

                  Back in Brand's training cave, Rab and Brand ate fish for breakfast, discussing what had occurred earlier that morning.

                  Brand smiled at Rab, rubbing his leg a bit with his paw. "When I first agreed to train you in wilderness survival skills, I was worried that you wouldn't be able to get how dangerous the wilds really were. But after this morning... I think you have proven yourself. You did not fall victim to the Equipixy's trap. You were suspicious and alert. And this saved your life."

                  Rab blushed, though he was enjoying the way Brand rubbed on him from time to time.

                  Brand continued. "Originally, I thought you'd fail my lessons. But at the same time, I was wise to consider that you might surprise me and pass my lessons. And now, you are no longer my student, Rab." He kissed Rab on the muzzle once. "You are my friend. And I have a present for you."

                  Rab smiled in surprise. "A present? For me? Really?"

                  Brand stood up and walked into the back of the cave and returned with a wrapped bundle tied with a leather cord. "All of this is for you, Rab. I think it is time you looked like a serious adventurer. I burned your original clothes, but these should more than make up for them."

                  Rab opened the bundle and marveled at the collection of adventurer's clothes. Then, with Brand's assistance, Rab slowly got dressed in the gear that he would be known on sight as wearing from then on... Brand then pulled Rab's black glossy hair back and braided it down Rab's backside.

                  Rab now wore an evergreen tunic, "V"-necked, one which was donned by slipping it over the head. Around his waist, he wore a black komodo leather belt, about an inch thick, with an intricate weaving of metal serving as a buckle.

                  Brand smiled. "You look nice, Rab. And now, we need to head back to Damholt and see about getting you to a fighter who can teach you the art of fighting with real weapons. I have taught you what I could, Rab. A spear is good for hunting, but I think you are ready for something more."

                  Rab smiled, really liking his new clothes. He hugged Brand and kissed him deeply on the muzzle for quite a long while. When he let up, he nuzzled Brand gently. "I am going to miss sleeping with you, Brand Irondam."

                  Brand hummed. "That reminds me... Never tell ANYONE your last name. Only mention your first name. When the weapons master trains you, find something in that training that you think makes for a good last name and use that instead of your real last name. If anyone thinks that you are the royal prince, they will likely try to capture you for any reward your father likely has out for your safe return to your home kingdom."

                  Rab grinned with a wink. "Civilization. Bleh."

                  Brand grinned back and laughed out loud!

                  End of Chapter 09

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                  • #10
                    Chapter 10

                    Rab wasn't really sure where to go next. But luck was with him for Dragondagger of Clan Slyfingers knew exactly where to take the young otter in training. The Sapphire Steppes was one of those places that Rab had just barely heard of, but he had heard the title from eavesdropping on his father's advisers in the castle. It was supposedly the home of the Clydesdale Horse Lords... a race of real warriors who didn't know the meaning of the word fear. It felt strange not having the beaver around, but he was soon standing before the great barbarian weapons master known as Hoz'arr.

                    "So..." said the barbarian Clydesdale, carefully examining the wilderness trained otter. "The all-natural crusader of the wilderness trained you, did he? I am Hoz'arr! For the next eight weeks, I will be your master as I teach you about every kind of weapon that is known to exist! During this time, you will discover your favorite weapons of preference and of course... you will earn a strong warrior like name! Even if you have questions, we're wasting time! Let's get started!"

                    Over the course of the next eight weeks, Rab was trained in not only weapons but also in how to pose either defensively with said weapons and even offensively. He was often getting attacked by his master as a means of testing him. When he failed, he ended up on the ground with a sword tip pointed at his chest. But over time he began to make these battles last even longer. This lasted until the day he finally got lucky enough to defeat his master at his own game by using twin katanas, the weapon that he learned to like using the most.

                    The next morning Rab was standing mid stream near the training ground practicing with his katanas, getting used to wet footing, when two bounty hunters arrived and confronted Hoz'arr directly. When Rab saw that they were about to strike his instructor, he leaped out of the stream with a loud scream and both katanas at the ready.

                    "From the stream comes a battle! Say hello to my blades!" And he engaged one of the two bounty hunters while the clydesdale surprised the other with a fist to the gut and an upper cut to the pelvis.

                    Surprising the former pompous castle otter had developed into a formidable fighting opponent. He quickly had the upper hand over the bounty hunter and had trussed him up to the back of his partner.

                    Hoz'arr laughed then he set a brotherly eye on the male otter. "Aye, my friend! And now, tell these thugs who you be!"

                    And in that instant, Rab suddenly recalled what Brand had told him at the end of that training period. Find something in the new training that seems suitable and use that as your surname. "I am Rab Streambattle, Frontier Adventurer!" He struck a proud pose then he winked at the clydesdale. "And I was trained by the great Hoz'arr, Barbarian Weaponsmaster of the Sapphire Steppes!"

                    "Well said, Rab!" exclaimed the barbarian clydesdale. "And with that, you have learned all that I can teach! Now however... to be a truly great adventurer, you must find a quest to make your name with and then everyone will know about the great twin katana wielding otter adventurer! And I can suggest one better, comrade! King Bighorn of Castle Klondike in the Wind River Wilderness often has need of adventurers! If you go there, you are sure to find yourself a great quest to call your own! And companions as well! For no adventurer worth his salt journeys alone! You have been a fine student, Rab! I will miss you, but it is time for you to go! Fare thee well!"

                    Of course, Rab smiled at the information. The Wind River Wilderness was where Damholt was located. That meant he could stop by and see his beaver buddy again. He took off immediately smiling all the way. He was very very eager to see Brand Irondam again.

                    At Damholt, he stepped up to the door of his friend and he rapped on the door with the hilt of his katana. He could hear the beaver inside grumbling about how it had better not be Warneeri again or else heads would roll and Hell would be split open. He quietly wanted to giggle, but he just stayed quiet while he held a string of fish in his other hand.

                    When the door did open, Rab held up the catch of fish and said, "Now I know what you will have for breakfast, my friend." He winked still smiling.

                    Brand's expression changed instantly as he brought the otter inside and closed the door. The two had much to talk about.

                    "So you trained in weapons under Hoz'arr," said the beaver. "I would have to say that he really knows how to live. He avoids civilization as much as I do. You had a good teacher. What brings you back to the Wind River Wilderness?"

                    Rab replied, "Hoz'arr suggested I go to Castle Klondike to see about claiming a quest so I can prove myself as an adventurer and make my name known. And my name is Rab Streambattle." He winked.

                    Brand laughed. "That is a fine name, Rab. As for the castle, even though I personally don't like, bleh, civilization, I will accompany you to see King Bighorn to get this quest."

                    End of Chapter 10

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