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Thread: The story of Hookmaw

  1. #1
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    Default The story of Hookmaw

    For part one look in contest discussion forum.

    PART 2.

    Shadows circled over Dreadmound. Terrified rats scattered, running into warrens, and diving into near by heaps, some fled Dreadmound all together. When the flock descended no rat saw more from their hiding place than boney feet striking down on the dusty ground.

    "Get out 'ere, ya bunch o' worthless cowards!." Noses began peaking out to see Snag shouting from the the back of a sleek black rook. Grizzard paced between a full score of varying dark colored birds, each with a rat clinging to its back feathers. As they listen to Snag's shouts, every rat shot a nervous glance to the top of his mound where perched Scarcraw, noting that their was no rider on him. No rat had noticed the absence of Hookmaw, including Snag, who was far too busy with his boasts and promises of victory in the war they had yet to start.

    Swift breezes blew from the west. Hookmaw could smell the foul stank of Dreadmound in the wind, as it ruffled his fur. There was a sudden gust, and Quilldropper was pushed, but quickly steadied. He peered back at the rat expecting to see him rattled, instead he saw exhilaration. Not on his face, Hookmaw's face was contorted into the same sneer it always was, but his eyes showed what his expression didn't. The rat even dared lean far enough off the side to gaze down on the world below.

    Quilldropper could not resist testing the metal of the rat, who he had seen stare at death twice now without wavering. He suddenly jerked to one side sending Hookmaw fumbling across his back. Quickly burying his claws in feathers, the rat balanced himself and glared at the bird. Catching the black bird completely by surprise Hookmaw threw all of his weight onto one of it's wings. Feathers burst into the air, as the two veered wildly left. It took a moment for Quilldropper to level out. Without looking back the black bird dove, swooping down into the branches of the trees below.

    Feathers and leaves exploded into the air as the large bird burst into the canopy. Cutting over and under between limbs, the hook beak dove. One particularly narrow gap had put Hookmaw sprawled on his belly to avoid being swept away. Quilldropper let out an amused cackle at the sight of the irritated way the rat picked himself up. "Think thats funny do you?," the rat teased and pounced once again on the birds left wing. They veered wildly once more this time directly towards the thick oak tree trunk. Quilldropper spun, Talons ripped into bark and feathers rained down around tree as they flew away from it.

    "Try it again!," Quilldropper shouted as the he flew into a large briar that had claimed the ground below. Thorns nearly as long as Hookmaws own arm reached out from every branch, forcing him the dodge left and right as the black bird wove around the maze of spikes. The promise of death waited around every turn, but somehow Hookmaw felt more alive than he ever had. Anxiously awaiting the next bend and what surprises it might bring. He found himself not bothering to dodge as they sped toward a particularly long thorn, instead reaching out and plucking it from the branch as they passed. A few turns and swoops later they appeared out of the tangle into a locus filled field that bordered the lush green land beyond. A well timed jab of the thorn skewered one of the hoppers. Hookmaw waved the bug triumphantly as the bird made to perch on a near by sapling.

    The test was over. It wasn't until they landed that Quilldropper saw how far the rat had surpassed all expectations. One leg on the pinned grass hopper still kicked, the black bird stared hungrily as it struggled futilely. "You want dis?," Hookmaw said extending the thorn lance. Quilldropper latched on to the bug and pulled it weapon and all from the rats grasp. Ravenously, He set upon the thing, crunching down through the thorn with a single snap of his beak. Looking back to the rat he spoke, "Rexus, shoulda been born wit' wings."

    "Not Rexus," the rat replied sharply. "That name no longer means anything to me. I have a new destiny, call me Hookmaw." Quilldropper gave him a puzzled look, "Whats that?," He insisted. "You'll see," Hookmaw promised, "you'll see."
    Last edited by Ravenchild; 09-24-2015 at 02:26 AM.

  2. #2
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    Excellent! I enjoyed this a bunch!
    Always the Mice Guy!

  3. #3
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    Thank you. I am really grateful that you take the time to read my story. I hope that everyone who reads this is enjoying the tale. I welcome any feed back. Soon to come, the first custom senerio in "the Story of Hookmaw."
    Last edited by Ravenchild; 09-24-2015 at 07:22 PM.

  4. #4

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    Love your writing. I was enthralled during the whole thing. You made it very easy to visualize the story. And, if I may add, I think you've just created a relate-able anti-hero! Can't wait to read more from you!

  5. #5

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    Ravenchild, read the first part and just finished this part, loved every word. Can not wait to read more from you and to see your custom cards.

  6. #6

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    1 great article thank you for sharing yourself and everyone in the forums offline

  7. #7
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    I apologize for the long delay, i was tied up designing my own game. I haven't forgotten about Hookmaw or Quilldropper though, and hopefully you haven't either.

    Hookmaw Part 3

    Dim light flickered from candles that had all but burnt out, casting barely enough light to see. Dozens of racks filled the store room, each from which hung several crossbows, or swords. "Theys all there m'lord, ev.. everyone you..you asked for," stuttered a small rat. He wore a tool belt and thick lenses that shook on his nose as he quaked with fear. Nervously watching the already dissatisfied look on Snag's face grow ever more frustrated. "M'lord's forces have everything they need right here," said the scared rat trying to easy the tension.

    "Oh, do they!?," snapped Snag angrily. You think a couple crossbows win wars?, you think thats all it takes?," Snag continued furiously, and instantly the little rat regretted opening his mouth. "May haps you'd like to tell those rats out there that a crossbows all they need. If they get hungry they can take a bite out of the stock. I bet they feed you the sword, when you tell them not to worry about rations cuz we've got all the need," jested snag coldly as he snatched a sword from a near by rack. He slashed at the air, obviously enjoying the feel of the blade in his paw, making the crafts-rat both proud and increasingly nervous. Snag threw the sword to the ground suddenly. "They need training as much as they need food, or more will taste a sword then not..." Snags rant would have continued were it not for another rat bursting into the armory shouting.

    "M'lord, M'lord," said the rat scout panting. "What!," demanded Snag. "Food!, we found food. The stream theres a farm on the other side of the brook. Lots of food not a lot of mice. We should take it before the can run away with it," suggested the scout eagerly. The scout rats suggestion irritated Snag. "Bite your tongue. You don't say what we should or shouldn't be doing, or did you kill me and take my throne without me knowin' it?Go tell my pit bosses to gather my troops!," He ordered furiously, shoving the tired scout back towards the door. "We've got some training to do, on the other side of the brook."

    Quilldropper stood sureounded by fallen black grey feathers near a small warren, where Hookmaw leaned against the door way. He watched, puzzling as the rat stared at great length toward Snags mound. "You want, take the throne from ol' Snagger?, the bird asked. Hookmaw gazed a moment longer before answering, "My father took that throne once, and Snag took it from 'im. Someday some other rat will take it, and another will get 'im for da cursed thing. And on and on it will go as long as theres rats at Dreadmound." This answer only gave the hook beak more questions. He stomped around on the feather covered ground in frustration. "What big'um destiny, Hookmaw got then?, You want, be king of the woods?" "It'd be the same," Hookmaw replied. Quilldropper cocked his head and locked one of his round black eyes on the rat, "then what?," but before He got is answer they were interrupted. The pair ceased their conversation and stared at a trio of rats that approached them.

    One of the rats stood out from the other two. Not just because he led by a few paces, nor the silver hue of his aged fur, it was because he was half again wider than either rat behind him. Garrote was his name, and he was the pit boss over the rut streets burrows, the area Hookmaw resided in, and had been for sometime. It was rumored that Garrote was so strong that when he just a pinky he had hugged her that birthed him and squeezed the life right out of her. Others believe he had no mother, and was born of pure temper and viciousness. This of course was far from true. Garrote had a mother whom he had never hugged, but few in Dreadmound were old enough to remember her. Garrote stopped leaving a far distance between himself and the unsettling looking duo.

    "Snag's orders, we's all gathering up," the large rat belted. Silvery hair stood on the neck of the large rat as the pair maliciously eyed him. A sudden twist of the birds neck sent the trailing rats jumping back. "We's crossing the river, Snag says we's got to train." The aged rat stared boldly into hookmaw's cold gaze, "when ya see ol' blade beak hit the sky yous better be followin'. i'll be havin' no deserters out of rut burrows, none left breathing, thats for sure," the elder rat threatened confidently. Hookmaw curled his mangled lip in defiance, "you'll be knowin' i's there." "Ain't it true," laughed one of the underlings, "ya can't hide a face like dat." "Not even in a cloud of rotten feathers," added the other with a chuckle and a snort. Garrote never joined in on insulting Hookmaw, and turned to leave. Since Garrote never laughed or even smiled, most assumed his age had brought a distaste for humor. "Stow yur belly bustin'," the large rat's bark quickly silenced the others, and sent them scrabbling to catch up to him.

    Quilldropper's head sunk low, "feathers ain't rotted," the rats insults weighed heavy on the birds mind. The torment seemed inescapable, and now even creatures he could eat were disrespecting him. "Lift yur head, Quilldropper. today marks the end of all that," Hookmaw consoled his new friend. "You make em stop talkin' bout quilldropper?, how?, the bird asked eagerly. "No," Hookmaw responded and the birds head sunk lower. "I'll make sure thems never stop talkin' bout you," the bird starred confused at Hookmaw. "I's make sure da names Quilldropper and Hookmaw is on every tongue, an i's make sure em tremble at the taste of it." This seemed to lift the black birds spirit, and he raised his head up as Hookmaw mounted him. Quilldropper let out a squawk so loud and high pitched it pained the rats ears. Hookmaw smiled as wide as his crooked teeth would allow. His own mangled fang tore into his lip and a drop of blood dripped down on to the birds neck, spurring him to action. Disappearing in a rain of grey-black feathers the pair took to the sky.

  8. #8
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    The story of Hookmaw part 4a

    Tails of the jay bird, her mysterious rider, and the terrible omens that brought them, had spread through out the Downwood like spring pollen. It fertilized the seeds of bravery and duty in the hearts of some, but for most, it had only sown fear. Even this harvests fat stores could not lift their spirits. No mouse felt felt safe, least of which were those at Brooks Edge. The sighting of a pair of rat mounted black birds had sent them into a terrible panic. Fearing the villains would surely return in greater numbers, the mice scurried franticly. Valiant warriors of the Oakguard worked tirelessly to evacuate the stores, and instructed those who could not fight to flee to haven deep in the forest.

    A small horde of rats climbed out onto a large branch, that reached over the brook. They watched as other such ragged bands appeared in the surrounding trees. These were Snag's elite commandos. He had sent them out the moment he heard about the vulnerable food stores. They stared ravenously a crossed the water, where in the distance they could see the small farming community built at the edge of the trees.

    Scores of birds shook the branches where the rats stood, as the talons of the vicious flock struck down. Snag immediately began shouting at his raiders, "You see that?, You mangy vermins' letting them run away with MY FOOD!, he accused pointing at the scattering mice. At that moment a burst of color flashed through the leaves above the mouse settlement, the Downwood Militia had sent reinforcements. Furious at the sudden complication Snag swung his club threateningly at his troops, "fools, better stop them little thieves!"

    Quilldropper pranced anxiously while Snag made his speech. The whole flight Hookmaw's words had echo'd in his mind. "Make em' tremble," the bird repeated quietly again and again. Now he was staring at the prey he had been promised and the anticipation was overwhelming. Hookmaw, who had quickly grown tired of be jostled around atop the hook beak, gave the reins a sharp jerk. Once he could focus, he looked at the other rats around him, who nervously listen to Snag's rant. Some even ducked and dodged the wild swipes of his club as if by some magic they might by struck. "Thinks he knows somethin' bout fear," Hookmaw chuckled to his uninterested friend, who eyed every move of the mice scurrying a crossed the brook. "We gonna show em bout fear," these words got Quilldroppers attention, who leapt with excitement.

    No rat or bird ever stood particularly close to Hookmaw or Quilldropper if it could be avoided, and so the burst of movement caught the rat king's eye. Snag knew instantly, the retch was going to break ranks. Determined to lead the charge, he quickly spurred his rook to action, and the race was on...

    Try "Brooks Edge Raid" custom scenario.
    Last edited by Ravenchild; 03-02-2016 at 01:50 AM.

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    The Story of Hookmaw part 4b

    Pistol fire and nerve rattling squawks echoed through the skies over Brooks Edge. Dedicated mice doing all they could to stay focused, and accomplish their mission. "Ignore that," a she-mouse said with a clap on another's shoulder, who looked helplessly at the carnage above. The smack shook him from his daze. "Follow those mice," the warrior instructed, pointing to a group of Oakguard, who were hastily carting a load of grains toward the tree line. Pushing the sounds of war out of his mind, and focusing hard on the green cloaks before him, the little mouse darted after the group.

    Gleesa, the Oakguard veteran, looked over her shoulder for threats before making her retreat. Turning only to see a ghastly curtain of black feathers come down around the group, igniting an explosion of screams and vicious laughter. Nothing could be seen through the falling pinions. Nothing save the small brown tail of the little mouse, which Gleesa latched onto. With great speed and all of her strength she tugged, pulling him out of the fray, and tumbling to the ground. Letting out a furious yell, she sprang to her feet, arrow nocked, only to watch as the last of the feathery vail settled around the remains of the terrible assault. The perpetrator had slipped away just as mysteriously as it has descended.

    "You all right?," Gleesa asked, turing her attention back to the little mouse. Noticing only now that his fur was wet with blood. She rushed over to inspect his wounds, but she could find none. Instinct and quick reflexes kicked in, and Gleesa drove on to the little mouse driving him away, just as a jay bird smacked hard on to the ground where they had stood. "Are you ok?," the warrior asked him again, but he did not respond. He sat there trembling slightly, his face a visage of horror. eyes glassed over as if he couldn't see her before him. She drug the lifeless mouse up next to the jay. Confusion and pain filled the birds eyes as they snapped opened, Gleesa hushed the bird and began gently stroking the feathers above his beak. "You're ok now," she said softly, "you're ok."

    Quilldropper unclenched his talons letting the unconscious blue jay slip free of his grasp as plummet to the ground below. "Rotten luck, mighta smacked dat one we missed," he lamented as the mice below narrowly dodged the fallen bird. "I didn't miss anything," Hookmaw snapped. "Yes yes," Quilldropper began to argue. "I let that one go." "You what!," the hook beak squawked. "Hookmaw chuckled patting the agitated bird's neck, "Did ya see it's eyes?" The bird nodded, remembering the mouse's frozen stare. "Let 'is terror fester, let it spread t' the roots of the Downwood," the rats menacing words seemed to sooth Quilldropper's irritation. "Me's never did seen no looks like dat 'n," he acknowledged with a great bit of pleasure in his tone, "can we'd do's it som'ore." "Aye, brother, we can," responded Hookmaw, his voice dripping with reclaimed pride. The black bird soared off, his hooked beak aligned with the rat's sharp claw, which pointed toward their next set of victims.

    *thud* Snag's wooden club rang loudly off the mouse's metal helmet, blacking the light from his eyes. Birds pecked and clawed at one another. Relentless blows struck from above down on the starling, who lunged at the rat pilot, leaving an opening the rook used to drive his beak firmly against the smaller birds neck. The strike was too much, the little bird fell from the sky. Snag surveilled the battle which was now all but over, quite satisfied at his victory. He could see Quilldropper burst from the vail of feathers, and lock talons with the blue jay. His ego deflated greatly as it plummeted downward. Watching the scene he spat and cursed to himself, "shoulda done ya with your pops, still why couldn't ya done the decent thing, an just starved? How did you not starve?," the rat king questioned furiously. A sudden voice broke Snag out of his rant. It was Garrote, "m'lord, we's won, their flyin' sacks crossed the brook, to cart back to Dreadmound," reported the elder rat. "Don't tell me what i can see!," ordered the angry king, "just get it done." Then he jerked his mount around and flew back to Dreadmound, cursing the day he had left young Rexus in the streets to die, not finishing it then."Theres still time, you'll see Hookmaw, you'll see,"
    Last edited by Ravenchild; 03-02-2016 at 01:53 AM.

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    The Story of Hookmaw part 5

    The nights moon shown dimly, scarcely lighting the dirt paths of Dreadmound, settling dust danced in the pale rays. The majority of rats had found a place to curl up for the night, but not all of them. There was one, who in fact had waited until this late hour to poke his nose from his burrow. That twisted, contorted nose twitched and sniffled the air, as the rat stepped out into the night. That pale light shown down on Hookmaw only a moment, before he was engulfed in shadow, and a large black bird hidden in a vail of feathers struck down before him. The black gray molt showering from the bird had not yet settled, and the pair had vanished into the night sky.

    When the morning sun broke through the musky fog that loomed over Dreadmound, Hookmaw was back in his burrow and fresh bones lay outside of Quilldropper's roost. This was how it was for many days and nights, no one actually seeing the pair beyond the occasional rat who had stumbled by late at night, and their extraordinary recounts of the sightings had fueled the rumors rapidly forming around Hookmaw and his equally unsettling partner. Occasionally scouts would return with tales of those sickly feathers scattered around a splintered bark wagon, or a vacant hut, and gossip would fill in the blanks, of which there were many, after all, there was only ever one thing any rat knew for sure, Hookmaw had got 'em.

    Rumors circulated Dreadmound, the way dust might waft about a path, thickened by each passerby. Snag spat, as if to rid himself of a foul taste. A nervous commando quickly continued his report, hoping it might defuse his lords anger, "we's broughts back all the grains, and bunches of nuts. I saw it to your personal store me self." Snags irritation turned to frothing anger, and he pressed his favorite flintlock into the trembling rats muzzle, "They say those grains are poison. You want me dead?" "No, no, my lord," he quickly answered. "Surely you know them grits be diseased, you want me to die of rotten belly, don't ya?," Snags finger tapped at the trigger as he growled his accusation. "But yous sayed thats not true, my lord, you sayed thats lies." "You callin' me a liar?," Snag jabbed the gun harder into his lackeys face, forcing him back a step. It was clear Snag's anger had robbed him of all rationality and there would be no talking his way out of snags cross hairs, and so he shook silently hanging on every word snag spoke. "If it weren't bad enough you wretches, scaring every time you see the whelp, now you fear all he touches." Snag's look grew more vicious as he spoke, "don't you know that rat lives cuz i let him, and just like the rest of you will die if i say to." Snags rant stopped suddenly, and a eerie calm replaced his anger. "Go, fetch me the runt, NOW," snag emphasized his order with another sharp jab from his pistol. The commando had no idea what plan his master was brewing. Happily enough to escape with his life, he sped off and was well out of the chamber before realizing that calling on the runt might cost his life yet.

    Snag waited impatiently, but quite pleased with himself. "For too long you've been the burr under my toe," snag mumbled to himself as he stared from an outcropping of his enormous heap. Hookmaw worried Snag a great deal, and increasing more everyday it seemed. Snag was furious with himself for letting him live in the first place, but even more so for letting him build this name for himself. Now if Snag killed him the talk would only get worse, they'd know he was scared. Then it wouldn't take long before the challengers would come. Those like Runt, who don't think they should answer to any rat, and worse, feel like they have something to prove. Snag worried more about that then leading his own army these days, but that was all about to change. Snag chuckled at the viciousness of his plan to himself toying with the flintlock. "I don't know if she'll get ya with that scatter gun," Snag laughed squeezing off a shot, that exploded a pitcher of water. Chunks of clay crashed and the splash of water echoed the loud bang, "but the mice will hear ya for a mile away."

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