Aloraine Mervina

"Yes Mother! I'm coming!" Aloraine said, rushing over to Avene, her mother, a bowl of crushed Cinderleaves gripped tight between her paws. She almost stumbles trying to place the bowl high on the table next to her mother. Avene, with a tired look, scoops up the bowl with a paw and dumps the contents onto a bandage, taking a few moments to reach in and wrap the medicated bandage around a badgers thigh.

"That will do, Auder -- Be careful next time, arrows stray sometimes. No one wants to hit vitals or kill a critter, but mistakes happen." She said, nodding to him. "Had it been a few inches over, you'd be looking at a different situation, Auder." The mouse held a stern voice as she pivots, looking down to her daughter, Aloraine. "Very well done, Rainy." She said, almost placing a paw on top of her head, turning around to wash them. "You're getting better at pestling." She praised, letting the water dump from a bucket above the sink as she washed her paws.

". . . The war is getting serious." She said calmly, drying them off with a towel. "More and more of our fighters taken in, some even injured beyond service. . ." Auder breathes a low sigh from her nostrils and turned to Aloraine. They shared a brief moment of understanding, a silence. . . Aloraine paused and spoke softly to her: "I-Is. . . Is Ophelia going to get ruined?" She asked, a wistful Auder retorts with a gentle smile: "No. . . No -- I don't think so. The king has one more trick up his sleeve, I hope."

Royal advisor Bramblepaw salutes a tired King Mathias, seated upon his oak throne as he rested his rat paw under his chin. "Go on." He demanded of Bramble. The weasel gave a short bow and spoke: "Y-Yes, It's. . . It's about the war -- We're short on critters! The ones we've been sending have been bought off for food or captured !! The healers are doing their best to send back the ones that actually manage to come back but it's not looking good, Your Highness!" He exclaimed, gesturing a paw over the mapboard. "They recruited the southern territory of Liverdale -- Them, along with our enemies from the north, Timbertale; we're pinched in! Forces are separated and divided trying to handle this pincer!" He finally slapped his paw onto the board.

The King sits up in his chair and rolled his paw out from under his chin, silence befell him for what felt like an eternity to his audience before speaking his next dire words:

"And. . . Do we still have the Silverthorn?"

The audience grew deathly silent, the occasional gawp and silenced whisper of concern from them. Bramble stammers a response: "Y-Yes. . . Y-Your highness, but -- a-are you sure? You know what it did to your bro--" He was cut off immediately with a roar of command from King Mathias.

"I am not losing Ophelia to -common tripe-!" His voice bellowed out, shooing the weasel off with a ringed hand, to whom scampered off on all fours, bounding off to retrieve the Silverthorn.

Deep within the confines of Ophelia's treasury, a quartz container holding the last few shards of Silverthorn, a strange bark-like substance shaved off into a quartz bowl on display, behind the most dire lock and key the smiths could muster for their treasury. A frantic Bramblepaw fumbled with a keyring -- first set of keys clicked into the lock, second set of keys for a second lock, third for a third, fourth for a fourth until the last lock clattered off the iron bars.

The door swings open and a panicking Bramble scooped up the Quartz container, holding it like one would a child, up and out of the treasury; forgoing even attempting to close the doors behind him. He'd make his way to the ramparts far to the north with the container; the violent sound of combat heard mere minutes away. He'd stumble up towards a rabbit, longbow in his paw and quiver in the other. He'd look to Bramble and scoffs. "What is it -now- Bramble? I haven't the time; we're about to be overrun, if you haven't noticed!"

Bramble panted heavily, bringing the container forward, cracking it open and revealing the shards of the Silverthorn in the quartz bowl. "K-Kings orders! Lace your arrow tips in this and fire! Quickly! There's no time!" The rabbit bowman furrowed his brow and plucked an ironwood arrow from his quiver, dipping the tip of his arrow into the mixture, which stuck and clung to the iron tip. He brought it to his eyes a moment, nodding; then took his longbow in paw, stretching the hempen string back, arrow slipped between his digits and let loose into the crowd of critters storming their city.

A yelp mixed in with the sounds of combat heard to the rabbits large ears, looking back towards Bramblepaw and realizing -- he had already been gone towards the south. The rabbit looked back to his work, and noticed a strange twist in the flow of combat. A circle started to expand from concerned critters stopping combat to make room for whatever had happened to where the archer had shot. A badger, hunched on all fours, salivating at the mouth, drooling ferociously with eyes bloodshot red. The badger snarled, growled and emitted guttural feral noises as it's attention snapped to a soldier otter wearing the same crests that adorned his own body. A lunge and took the otter down in but a flash of movement, teeth snapping and clapping at the Otters face with malicious intent. By now, a group of concerned critters started to pull at the fur, tail and garb of the badger to get them off of the otter, to some success as the Badger ferociously turned around, slashed with it's claws and let out a howl that pierced the ears of those nearby.

The rabbit archer looked on in horror as the Berserk Badger bit into the arm of a fellow countryman, shredding off fur and some skin, causing a wide-spread panic as arms were raised in defense, the flow of combat turned into a flight for survival as a full-scale retreat was issued from the attacking army.

Such ferocity and 'old-world' behavior absolutely struck fear into the hearts of critters that day as the archer rabbit looked towards the south: "Stars above." As the sudden realization hit.