On March 29th, 2010 an anonymous user posted the prologue and the first two chapters of a fanfiction called Spring Wildlough: The Next Rhulain Queen. They made no edits afterwards; the author has not been online in two years, and as such Ariyh and I have adopted the story as our own and renamed it as well. We hope you enjoy :)
Book One: Two Households Edit
Seasons passed since the defeat of Riggu Felis and his catguards. Green Isle was once again a place of peace. Tiria proved a fair and gentle leader, who was also wise beyond her years. She eventually wed Leatho, and as the hush of gentle April settled over the island; a great change was in the air.....
Toobil and his gang had been shooed from the kitchens again. Birl Gully had shooed them off and they had ran off. They had kept on running until they ran into Kolun Galedeep,who had just emerged from the curtain of The High Queen Rhulain's room. He winked at them and whispered " I take it you've come to see Queen Tiria's newborn." He beckoned them in.
Leatho Shellhound looked up and saw them standing quietly there. He beckoned them closer and whispered " She was born this morning."
Toobil dutifully trotted over with his gang in his trail. Standing on tip-paw, they gazed at the tiny newborn otterbabe. The little babe stared solemnly back through sleepy dark eyes. Soft infant fur fuzzed out from her chubby cheeks, and a small pink tongue-tip showed as she yawned contently. Tiria gently whispered, "Her name is Spring".
Chapter One, Sixteen Years later Edit
Spring had grown into a healthy young ottermaid. She had a bit of her sister Kiandra's wildness, and her brother Hetfield's smooth talk, and her mother's wisdom and audacity. However; Spring also had a habit of being headstrong and bossy, especially to Kiandra. She also developed a fear of the dark, cramped spaces, and most of all: HEIGHTS!
She was perfect at slinging as her mother was and a great javelin thrower. She was a sleek swimmer too. She was loved by all otterbabes and dibbuns too. She had visited Mossflower a few times and skillfully dealt with vermin.
One early summer morning when she and other otters of green isle were visiting. Kiandra flatly refused to go; as lazy a beast she could sometimes be, and Hetfield politely declined due to the onset of his fencing lessons.
Spring was lonely without her siblings, but nonetheless she enjoyed visiting her mother's birthplace and getting a taste of some new scenery. she was out in the orchard playing with the dibbuns. Abbess Lycian and Tiria were watching her. Abbess Lycian said
"Your daughter is such a lovely gentle ottermaid"
Tiria beamed. "Spring may be gentle with the babes but she's as every bit a warrior as I am! She's a credit to all of us. Her father and I are so proud of her, just as we are about Kiandra and Hetfield."
Abbess Lycian could truly believe this. She was so much like her mother. Spring was walking with a couple dibbuns on her shoulders.
"Mother Abbess marm,it's time for breakfast, you better hurry before all the otters eat it all" Abbess Lycian rose from her chair
"I heard it's blueberry scones with honey and clover butter, just let them try eat it all"
Laughing the group ran to the abbey. Little did they know a cloud of great darkness hung near.
Chapter Two, Peril Edit
Rawbone the Bane was a blood red fox. He had a whip, scimitar, and many daggers as weapons. His title? Rawbone the Bane. His horde consisted of ferrets, weasels, rats, ermine, wildcats, water rats, and pine martens. It was a vicious horde; and they had come to the island in longboats, entering from the south. They lay in wait in the northern forests of Green Isle, as afternoon sunlight slanted down from the treetop.
Rawbone sat beneath a withered magnolia tree, devouring roast wild pheasant and licking his plate clean. He glanced up and smiled as he saw Voku, the weasel scout he had sent.
"Any news on the riverdogs?"
Despite his bad reputation, Rawbone considered himself on all counts a gentlebeast. He kept this in mind as he stood to greet Voku.
"No my lord."
The thin weasel bowed low.
"What exactly do ye plan t'do, Sire?"
Rawbone grinned slyly, revealing slightly off-white teeth.
"I'll tell you all in good time, Voku. In the meantime you just do what I say."
Voku looked slightly irate. He knew that his species had a long history of being underpaw lackeys, and it annoyed him deeply. He craved to be the exception (besides of course, Ferahgo the Assassin) and Rawbone knew this, and would use it to the scout's advantage.
"You're dismissed. Go and have fun with your little friends."
Rawbone smiled warmly.
Voku hurried off to eat lunch with his fellow hordebeasts.
The overambitious weasel stopped dead in his tracks and turned around on the paw-worn path.
"Any news you forgot to tell me?"
Rawbone's deep brown eyes were drilling into Voku. He gulped and looked away.
"Yes. My apologies. That ottermaid; Queen Tiria an' one of her children, Spring were visitin' Mossflower today with some other riverdogs. From what I heard they'll be back any time now."
Rawbone couldn't have been happier.
"Excellent. NOW you are dismissed!"
Voku scuttled off.
Rawbone laid back against the trunk of the tree and glanced at the soft pink petals that had fallen all around him. The fox looked ill-fitting sitting there, with his cracked ceramic plate and his prized slim-bladed throwing dagger with the red diamond in its hilt. The diamond matched the color of Rawbone's fur almost perfectly and he liked this fact.
Smiling, Rawbone threw his dagger into the air and caught it skillfully. Not even his own horde was aware of what he planned to be doing to the otterclans of Green Isle; and what he wanted from them in return.....
Chapter Three: Sibling Rivalry Edit
Written by me
The mighty, frothy surf pounded against the slick sun-warmed rocks jutting out of the greenish sea as the two young otters fenced in the late spring sun. “C’mon Het! Ye can do better than that. Yore going soft because ye think I’m gettin’ gray, aren’t you?”
The two fencing otters were none other than Hetfield, the prince of Green Isle, and his self-appointed fencing instructor, Toobil Galedeep, two seasons older than him at eighteen.
Sinewy and well-muscled, Toobil was as strong as an ox and was so wild he made Hetfield look obedient and well-mannered (which he was not.) His left arm was covered in tattoos (Which his mother had thrown a fit about upon discovering that he had them), and half of his right ear had been taken off by a seagull that had gotten too close for comfort. His eyes were a stunning shade of dark gray, like gathering storm clouds, and he was clad simply in just a tattered white tunic, and black breeches ripped at the knee.
“No! I’m just as good as ever. Just you wait.”
With a mischevious grin, Hetfield’s rapier clashed with Toobil’s claymore, producing a deep, ringing Clang! Hetfield was young, muscular and headstrong, just like Toobil. Perhaps that was what had brought them together. Hetfield’s eyes were a somber brown, matching up well with his black fur. He wore the same outfit as Toobil, but with medium-brown breeches.
On and on the two otters fenced, until Toobil was exhausted and had to sit down.
“Maybe I AM…. Going gray, Hetfield….. I dunno……. The way you’re beating everyone at the court so easily I’m not…. Surprised….”
Hetfield leaned on his rapier and shaded his eye with one paw, glancing at the blue afternoon sky. Toobil jumped to his footpaws, hearing a melodious laugh coming from the north.
A spirited young ottermaid stepped forward, clad in a medium turquoise hooded cloak that matched her sea-green eyes, and a chainmail tunic beneath. She hefted a sling loaded with a lump of red granite. It was Hetfield’s younger sister Kiandra, three years younger at thirteen.
“You two idiots are going to get yourselves killed out there!”
“Well you better watch your mouth, you little palace upstart!”
Toobil snarled, temper getting the better of him.
“Having an attitude like that is goin’ t’get ye killed someday!”
Hetfield grimaced. He didn’t enjoy his sister’s company much either, but he nonetheless felt insulted by Toobil's underhanded slight.
“Just… I don’t know, practice with your sling and leave us alone. And Toobil! She's young, cut her some slack. I was the same a few years ago.”
Kiandra snorted rebelliously. It was clear she wasn’t going anywhere.
“I’m not moving. Because I have something to tell you! Something IMPORTANT.”
Hetfield felt his annoyance slipping away.
“What is it?”
Kiandra’s impudence faded a bit.
“Can you ask nicely?”
“Can you PLEASE tell me what it is?”
“I just went with a patrol to the mountains in the north. Mom and Spring are coming home."
Hetfield's look changed to one of surprise.
The otter put his rapier away.
"Yep! See you!"
And with that, the hyperative ottermaid raced off to meet her mother and older sister.
"Some firestarter of a sister ye got there."
Toobil commented, shielding his eyes with his brow as he looked at the son. Hetfield stepped forward. It wasn't like Toobil to be silent.
"Something wrong, mate?"
Toobil nodded a bit and spat.
"It's those treacherous scum the Rainclaws again. Fancy that; Green Isle otters turning against their monarchs!"
"Toobil, Lucian Rainclaw is a coward and a liar. Don't listen to anything he or his clanbeasts say; and if a war comes by hell's teeth we'll be ready for them!"
"As sure as hellgates, matey."
Toobil licked his blade wistfully. Hetfield turned aside and glanced over the crest of the hill, seeing a small group of longboats arriving on the beach. He thought he could make out Kiandra running towards Spring, and Spring hugging her and clapping her on the back.
"I'd better get going."
Hetfield straightened his sword-belt and ran down to the beach to greet his mother and sisters.
Chapter Four: The abduction Edit
Written by Ariyh
Narrated by Tiria
The beautiful scenery of Green Isle comes into view as our vessel crests yet another wave, one out of millions rolling towards the golden shore. I see on the shoreline several barely-visible black specks, and guessed that it was the welcome party awaiting our eventual landing on the pristine coastline of our home. Gulls and gannets whirl overhead, screeching to the skies as they seek out any morsels of their furtive prey swimming above the white-capped waves.
My companions, four burly otters, stand at the railing, chatting casually about their families, javelins held loosely in one paw. My thoughts turned to my own family, and I look down at the young ottermaid at my side. Spring Wildlough, my oldest daughter, stares out over the waves, mesmerized by their relentless pounding against the ship's hull. I wonder how much Kiandra and Hetfield have grown since my last visit, and whether or not they still hang around with that hooligan, Toobil.
I know I haven't been gone long, but I still worry about them. Silly, of course; they are as safe as safe can be with Leatho to watch over them. The shore has risen up to meet the ship, and a crew of sixteen otters grunt and strain as the pull the mid-size vessel onto the sands. Spring and I are lowered to the ground by way of a lifeboat, in which myself, Spring and four guards stand.
I step out, careful not to trip on the gunwales, and soon I am surrounded by my two other children. I embrace them tightly, telling them as much detail about my voyage as they ask.
So comical is the sight, that even my normally taciturn guards barely hold back smiles as they watch their High Queen assaulted by her ecstatic offspring.
Eventually, I am permitted to rise, and among happy smiles and cheerful laughter, I begin my trip to Holt Summerdell, from where I hold sway over the clans of green isle. A happy calm overruns the party as we listen attentively to the sounds of numerous avians, whistling their cheerful songs. A gentle breeze moves the leaves as sunlight filters through the bright green canopy onto the dirt path below. I notice Toobil slightly behind the last two guards, and I summon him so that he is walking evenly with me.
"How are things at the Holt, Toobil?" He mumbles his response so that I make him repeat it.
"S'alright. Nothing new or exciting." I nod, not at all satisfied.
"Can you tell me what has happened?" He does not answer, but slowly lags behind once more. I sigh, allowing him to take his place at the rear of the line. His silence bothers me; Normally, Toobil is the most boisterous of otters. And yet, here he refuses to speak to me. One of the guards, a new addition named Darell, pipes up from his position at the rear.
"How did everything go at the abbey, if you pardon my asking, your Highness? I answer him from over my shoulder. Everything went well, Darell. The visit was very enjoyable." He nods happily.
"'m glad you like it! How is everybeast over th-" His voice was cut off, replaced by a quiet swishing noise. There were two thuds; a loud one, and a softer one, about three seconds apart. I start and whirl about, my mouth drying with horror at the fox standing over Darell's decapitated trunk. My guards whirl immediately, only to be transfixed by black-fletched arrows.
Now standing alone with my children and Toobil, I make for the sling belted about me. As I do, a second fox materializes out of the woodlands, holding Kiandra at swordpoint. Hetfeild rushes forward, rapier drawn, charging the lead fox with a roar of rage. I shout his name as he swings powerfully at the fox, attempting to slice him from shoulder to sternum.
His strokes were in vain as the fox toyed with him, forcing me to watch as my son was half beaten to death. Tears run down my face, and I can bear it no longer. "Stop! Please, don't kill him!" He looks at me coldly, leering evilly. "You're in no position to order me around."
With this, he swept Hetfield's blade aside and ran him up to the hilts of his sword. I seem unable to speak, only fall to my knees as my only son falls sideways, the sword still buried inside him. The fox comes close to my face, whispering to me in a voice only I can hear.
"If you want them back, than you will come to the old fortress by the lake. And if you dont want them to die a horrible, painful death, you WILL come alone. Got it?" I nod, unable to meet his eyes.
He laughs at me, swishing his blade at my face. I yelp with pain as he carves a narrow furrow down my face. Toobil runs in to assist me, but is knocked back as a guard stiff-arms him. He and my two girls are bound and led away, their muffled screams for help tearing my shattered heart into smaller pieces. The fox laughs, his cronies laughing with him as they disappear into he woodlands. The last thing I see before fallling unconscious is Hetfield's body limp and unmoving.